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Choosing the Right Technology for Your Polymer Testing Needs

Choosing the Right Technology for Your Polymer Testing Needs

October 13, 2021
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Polymers are in use in almost every industry today. With such a wide variety put to use in many different ways, testing needs will also vary across the board. Understanding which technologies are applicable to your industry and your stage in the polymer production lifecycle is vital to meeting your analytical needs.

Many technologies can be used throughout the polymer production lifecycle-from raw material suppliers to polymer recyclers-but understanding how their pros and cons relate to your needs will let you make the right choice.

For those in research and development (R&D), technology considerations can include sensitivity and resolution, performance, and scalability. For those in quality control, considerations include automation, ease-of-use, and compliance conformity. And for those in safety, considerations include robustness, compliance, and sensitivity.

Here are some questions to ask, no matter where in the lifecycle you fall, when considering the following technologies:

Chromatography

  • Are a number of different detectors available?
  • Does it have the ability to conduct headspace analysis?

Spectroscopy

  • Is this instrument scalable and flexible?
  • Is it easy-to-use and mobile?

Thermal Analysis

  • Does the instrument’s heating and cooling rates meet your needs?
  • What temperature ranges are available with all of the different techniques (i.e., thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry)?

Microscopy

  • Do you need a conventional microscope or are you interested in chemical and physical information as well?
  • Can the experiments run in automated mode?

X-ray Diffraction

  • Do I need a benchtop or floor unit?
  • Is it within my budget and expertise to maintain this equipment?

These are just some of the many questions buyers should consider before investing in new technologies and instruments. To learn more about what you should be looking for and why, read our white paper: Selection Criteria for Analytical Technologies that Meet Polymer Manufacture and Recycling Testing Needs.

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