Polymer Analysis Using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy

In the last 50 years, plastic production has skyrocketed. Discover an easy fit-for-purpose solution for analyzing diverse plastic sample types using FTIR spectroscopy.

In the last 50 years, plastic production has skyrocketed. Nowadays, plastic products have found their way into every corner of our lives, from baby toys to construction materials. Reliable testing remains a critical quality assurance or safety control measure throughout the plastic life cycle.

The analysis of pre-production and produced materials ensures that the final product meets the quality and purity required for its intended purpose. The same testing techniques are increasingly used to identify plastic waste in recycling centers, helping to maintain the quality of recycled plastics and to identify plastic debris collected from the environment.

Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is a well-established and powerful analytical technique that can provide qualitative information (e.g., identification and structural) as well as quantitative information (e.g., additive levels, comonomer content, branching, and tacticity) about plastic samples. Simple and easy-to-use workflows and a robust, reliable system are key to maximizing lab efficiency while reducing the risk of compromised data and instrument downtime.

The Cary 630 FTIR spectrometer with the MicroLab software forms an ideal solution for analyzing diverse plastic sample types. This fit-for-purpose solution makes testing in the plastic life cycle as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  • No or minimal sample preparation is required. No consumables are needed.
  • Fast: Not only results but answers within seconds.
  • Super simple: Easy to deploy, easy to use, and easy to understand.

More uptime, less training, fewer errors, and more confidence.

Access the resources below:

[Application Note] Material Identification of Plastics Throughout Their Life Cycle by FTIR Spectroscopy
This application note highlights how the Agilent Cary 630 FTIR spectrometer provides an easy workflow for material identification throughout the life cycle of plastic materials. The Cary 630 FTIR and MicroLab software facilitate the quick and easy generation of a polymer library, which enables the quick identification of a plasticizer, a nurdle, a cup lid, a recycled water bottle, and plastic beach debris.

[White Paper] Advancing Research of Plastics in the Environment Using the Agilent Cary 630 FTIR Spectrometer
Plastic pollution has become a high-priority area of study in recent years due to the increasing prevalence of plastics in the environment. In this white paper, selected research publications in which the Cary 630 FTIR helped analysts studying the impact of plastic pollution on the environment are summarized.

[Application Note] Fast and Simple Material Identification of Plastic Debris Using FTIR Spectrometry
This application note shows specific examples of plastic waste analyses using the Agilent Cary 630 FTIR.

[Brochure] Applications of FTIR Polymer Analysis using Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy
The Cary 630 FTIR is also ideal for quantitative polymer analysis in polymer development, research, and the QA lab, as highlighted in this technical overview.


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