The blog of the Basque company

SPRI Group

July 27, 2023

Labencor, the only laboratory in the Basque Country specialized in corrosion

The Vitoria-Gasteiz company, with more than 300 customers today, offers customized tests especially for the automotive sector

Labencor, located in the industrial area of Jundiz in Vitoria-Gasteiz, is the only laboratory in the Basque Country and in the State dedicated exclusively to corrosion. It already has more than 300 customers after ten years of life and offers customized tests especially in the automotive sector. This information is produced through the “We talk about you” initiative by which Grupo SPRI offers Basque companies the possibility of publicizing their projects on its platform.

The company was created in 2013 at the Álava Technology Park “because of the need for companies in the automotive sector to carry out the corrosion tests they require in an agile manner,” said Marta García, director of laboratory, and Raquel Martínez, a commercial technician. Until then, this work was undertaken by technological centers that had some corrosion equipment “but each automotive manufacturer has its own tests and are long tests, for example 10-12 weeks on many occasions”.

Thus, it is proposed to create an industrial laboratory that allows an immediate and quality service. “We started with six corrosion equipment of different characteristics and volumes. In 2015 we obtained the ENAC accreditation, which certifies you the ideal aptitude for different tests”. In 2017, the company moved to the Jundiz industrial estate in Vitoria for expansion needs. Today, Labencor already has 18 corrosion equipment and another 2 that will arrive this year.

The company works mainly for the automotive sector and, to a lesser extent, for other sectors such as construction, shipbuilding, rail or white goods. They offer corrosion tests to see if they comply with the regulations that apply. “We have more than 300 customers. Contracts are customized for each client and each trial. And on the web, each client has its confidential area, where all the information about the trial is posted”.

Different tests

The tests they perform range from “simple” tests in a single environment to “cyclic corrosion” tests, which go through different phases in each test cycle, these being generally, tests on specific needs and can last from hours to three or four months”.

Labencor measures a myriad of issues, depending on the requirements, customer needs and type of coating; such as white corrosion (the protective layer zinc part) and red (when you have eaten that first protection and reaches the base material) in metallic coatings or corrosion in welds, edges and surface, adhesion… in organic coatings.

Being the only laboratory dedicated exclusively to corrosion in the Basque Country and the State, its main competence is the technological centres.

The staff consists of four people and annual turnover is around 450.000 euros.

The closest challenges are the commissioning of two 2,600-liter equipment for the test of the new Mercedes vehicle in order to test large parts such as gates. “We want to accredit this essay in August. And in that month, we will have another auxiliary equipment to check the resistance to stone impact (the test that consists of projecting a specific number of steel balls of a certain diameter at a defined pressure and at a set time on the test piece).

At the business level, the objectives are to grow and expand both the client portfolio and the range of tests “to give a more comprehensive service”, without forgetting the continuous expansion of the scope of the tests accredited by ENAC.