ESSENTIAL TOOLS FOR POLYMER CHARACTERIZATION
Polymer Characterization Techniques & Solutions
Used to characterize the molecular vibrations of organic & inorganics compounds include common functional groups and fingerprinting region. It also used for both qualitative & quantitative analysis. These common tools used in Academic research & various industries to perform QC Check on incoming raw material and analyse contamination for submicron & micron sized particles.
Tinius Olsen offers solutions for testing the strength and performance of plastics through tensile, flexural, compression, folding endurance, impact , head distortion, vicat, melt flow, tear and puncture tests. This versatile benchtop polymer testing machines can perform tests in accordance with ASTM, ISO and other international standards from test configuration through to reporting and generating results immediately for your processes.
Lauda Scientific Optical Contact Angle instrument offers the capability to measure the Contact Angle between liquid and solid phase, Surface Free Energy of solid substrate and Surface Tension of liquid. It can be used to predict the interaction between the liquid-solid phase. Therefore, this instrument has been widely used in the industries for surface modification such as plasma cleaning. It is also being used to study the hydrophilic & hydrophobic properties of a surface. In the chemical dispersion industry, it is used to study the surface tension of a liquid by comparing different surfactants and adjusting the surfactant concentration.
Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) is widely used in polymer characterization. Changes in the morphology of the material usually affect its melting, crystallization or glass transition and these can be linked to many performance parameters. For semi crystalline polymers it is an important method to measure crystallinity and for thermoset the curing behaviour is being analysed.
Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) determines the composition & thermal stability of polymers and the effects of additives such as flame retardants. Other thermal analysis techniques are simultaneous thermal analysis, thermomechanical analysis, dynamic mechanical thermal analysis, and dielectric thermal analysis.
Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) is indispensable in the characterization of viscoelastic properties of filled polymers including elastic modulus, loss modulus and the glass transition
Plastic manufacturers need to verify the molecular mass / chain length of their polymers to assure and maintain quality. Determination of the solvent viscosity as a measure of the mean molecular mass of a polymer is one of the most reliable and sensitive methods for judging the molecular identity of many plastics.
The shear rate of a capillary rheometer mimics the extrusion or injection molding machines, from 100 to > 106 1/s. The apparent melt viscosity is given as shear stress/shear rate. It can also determine extensional viscosity, die swell and melt strength.
The rotational rheometer provides information on viscoelastic properties of polymers. In the oscillation mode, it can provide complex viscosity and probe into the molecular structure of the polymer, like molecular weight, molecular weight distribution and molecular weight average.
Rotational rheology can also determine the shear viscosity in the steady (flow) mode, albeit, at lower shear rates from 0.001 to 100 1/s.
It is usual for a continuous emulsion polymerization process to control the emulsion droplets in the main reactor or mixing device. The emulsion formed in the process is desired to be of a narrow size distribution with a specific range of sizes from a few microns to thousands of microns. In the granulating process, the powder properties such as particle size distribution, specifically the amount of fine and coarse fractions are needed to prevent the clogging of the process line. Polymer based industrial products such as acrylic paint emulsion and coatings are routinely checked for their particle size distribution.
Brabender GmbH provide the solution for polymer mixing and extrusion to study the compatibility of fillers and additives with the polymer matrix in laboratory scale. The recorded torque value, temperature, pressure, speed provide the information to optimize the process parameters & upscaling purpose. Various accessories are available for the Single Screw & Twin Screw Extruders, so that in addition to material compounding, the extrudate can be turn into round strand die, pellet, sheet, blown film etc. Furthermore if you wish to study the decomposition time, fusion time, flow & cure behaviour , plasticizer sorption behaviour of the polymer mixing, the Brabender Torque Rheometer is the ideal tool.
Netsch fire testing systems are used to measure the reaction & response of polymer composites used in printed circuit board (PCBs), electrical cables, textile products, etc in fire. It also determines the suitability and effectiveness of different types of flame retardant additives in polymers.