Polymer Identification and Analysis

Commercial polymers typically include a base polymer and a number of other components such as anti-oxidants, UV stabilisers, colour masterbatch, inorganic fillers, glass and carbon fibres, plasticisers, processing aids and cross-linking agents to name a few.

A wide range of analytical techniques are available to identify the type of polymer and determine the composition which can be used in:

  • Identification of unknown materials
  • To establish whether or not the specified material has been used
  • Compare materials
  • Predicting differences in performance based on differences in composition
  • Assess the variation and quality of materials
  • Conformance to regulations and directives

Analytical techniques routinely used by Sandberg include: Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR); UV Spectroscopy; Atomic Absorbtion Spectroscopy (AAS); Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC); Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Mass Spectrometry.

Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)

FTIR is one of the most important techniques used in the identification and analysis of polymers. Typical applications of FTIR in polymers include:

  • Identification of the polymer type to ensure that the correct or specified type of polymer has been used for the application or to identify unknown polymer materials
  • To investigate the composition of copolymers and polymer blends
  • To investigate and identify polymer degradation mechanisms, such as hydrolysis of polyurethane or oxidation of polyethylene
  • To identify substances that have migrated to the surface of the polymer, such as phthalate plasticisers in PVC

UV Spectroscopy

This techniques is used to identify material components that absorb in the UV range. In polymers it is mainly used for the identification and quantification of antioxidants and UV stabilisers, that have characteristic absorption peaks, such as butylated hydroxy toluene.

It can also be used to identify coloured derivatives of additives that are associated with discolouration and staining problems, such as phenolic yellowing associated with phenolic antioxidants.

Atomic Absorbtion Spectroscopy (AAS)

AAS is used for the identification and quantification of specific metals. Applications of AAS in polymers include:

  • Determination of heavy metal content, such as the lead content in paint.
  • Identification of metal content to establish conformance to regulations such as WEEE and ROHS
  • Investigating the cause of polymer degradation , since trace amounts of some metals can act as catalysts in polymer degradation mechanisms
  • Identification of contamination
  • Establishing if counterfeit materials have been used
  • Investigating interaction between polymers and metals
Marion Ingle

For further information contact: Marion Ingle, Senior Associate
Direct Tel: 020 7565 7063
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About
Corporate Profile
Organisation
Quality of Service
People
Neil Sandberg
Steve Pringle
Simon Clarke
David Ellis
Philip Tate
Tony Willmott
Richard Rogerson
Mike Eden
Julian French
Chris Morgan
Gavin Mayers
Gregory Moor
Richard Harris
Jayne Fagan
Rom Gostomski
Bob Easthope
Ian Hudson
Julie Dell
Simon Morris
Marion Ingle
Mariachiara Faliva
Doug Hunt
Panos Sotiropoulos
Roger Lucas
Tony Pitman
Daniel Kinnersley
Michael Gould
Jim Carmichael
Andy Kitson
Yohann Guellil
Alexander Hollyman
Memberships and Associations
Contact us
Vacancies
Building Inspector
Structural Engineer
Materials
Laboratories
Building Stone
Building Stone
CE Marking Stone
Stone Tests
UKAS Stone Tests
Chemistry
Cement Testing
Chemical Testing
Chloride Testing
Efflorescence
Hardened Concrete Analysis
Infrared Spectroscopy
Lead in Paint
Mortar Testing
Rock Salt Testing
Screed Analysis
Water Testing
Construction Materials
Agglomerated stone
Aggregate Testing
Bricks, Blocks, Flags & Pavers
Concrete Testing
Fresh Concrete Testing
Hardened Concrete Testing
Masonry
Screed Testing
Terrazzo
Geomaterials
Concrete Petrography
Mundic Concrete
SEM and X-ray
Sulphate Attack
Metallurgy
Laboratory Services
Bolt Testing
Metallographic Analysis
Metals and Welding
On-site Material Identification
Scaffold Testing
Tensile Testing
UKAS Testing
Investigation & Inspection
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)
Ground Radar
GPR Principles
Building Investigation
Chimney Flue Location
Concrete Imaging
Concrete Slab Surveys
Ferroscan or GPR
Inspection
Abseil Inspection
Bedding Mortar
Bridge Inspection
Building Inspection
Cladding Inspection
Concrete Floors
Ferroscan Surveys
Fire Damaged Concrete
GFRC Inspection
HAC Concrete
NDT Weld Inspection
Paint Inspection
Precast Concrete Inspection
Woodwool
Leak Detection
Leak and Defect Location
Waterproof Membranes
Load Testing
Buildings
Balcony and Barrier Testing
Bridge Structures
Car Park Barriers
Crowd Barriers
Cladding Systems
Foundations
Glass Panels
Specialist Testing
EM Surveys
Datalogging
Slip Resistance
Thermography
Steelwork/Metallurgy
Steelwork Services
Site Sampling
Safe Working Loads
Steelwork Fire Damage
Consultancy
Building Envelope
Building Regulations
Condensation
Facades & Roofing
Our Track Record
Thermal Performance
Thermal Training
Thermography
U-Values and Bridging
Concrete
Alkali Aggregate Reactivity
Concrete Consultancy
Concrete Durability
Concrete Strength Assessment
Conservation
Ancient and Modern
Heritage
Historic Mortars
Expert Services
Expert Witness
Independent Advice
Geology/Geomaterials
Geomaterials Services
Coastal Engineering
Polymers
Polymer Consultancy
Odour Analysis
Polymers in Construction
Polymer Failure
Polymer Identification
Polymer Microscopy
Quality Assurance
Contract Administration
Materials and Workmanship
Specialist Services
Damage Assessment
Demolition and Refurbishment
Glass and Glazing
Steelwork
CE Marking
ISO 3834 Services
Metallurgical Failure
Steelwork Consultancy
Stone Consultancy
Building Stone (new projects)
Building Stone (existing structures)
Building Stone (suitability)
Sandberg Consultants