Why is Polymer Characterization Important?

The identification of the mass, morphology and molecular structure of polymeric materials (both synthetic and natural) is termed polymer characterization. These polymers are made up of chains of macromolecules, bound together by covalent bonds. The properties of such structures are defined by their chemical/biological components. Usually, however, they are very versatile and effective in a variety of applications. Synthetic polymers include plastics (polyethylene and polystyrene), whereas natural polymers include wool and rubber.

Polymer and Water Vapor Interactions

Mechanical and structural damage can arise following water vapor permeation of polymer compounds. Therefore, the reliable analysis of vapor sorption properties is imperative. This can be carried out by gravimetric approaches, which monitor the vapor-solid interplay, identifying alterations in sample molecular mass utilizing diffusion coefficients and sorption isotherms.

Kinetic factors, such as temperature and pressure, can be regulated and surveyed accurately by continual weight measurements. Smart equilibration mechanisms make sure that the isotherm results are exact when obtained automatically, yielding vital information about mechanical instability, immobilization of polymer chains and hygroscopic swelling of the polymer.

Polymer Characterization for Solvent Interactions

The product’s mechanical endurance can also be altered by organic solvents which infiltrate the molar structure and corrupt its stability. The polymorphic characteristics can be determined by modern gravimetric analyzers, which carry out organic solvent flow assessments.

This procedure allows the identification of amorphous phase conditions in specific conditions, which allows the identification of suitable polymers for specific environments and functions. Further analysis of gas and vapor interactions also highlights a polymer’s adsorption and hydrophobicity characteristics.

Gas Sorption in Polymers

Additionally, gases may interact with permeable polymers, including hybrid organic-inorganic membranes and polymers of intrinsic microporosity (PIMs). This interaction can be quantified by gas sorption analysis, which quantifies the uptake and diffusivity of gases.

Applications of Polymer Characterization

There are many possible applications of polymer analysis through these methods. One example is quality control for plastics, such as thin films for encasing healthcare and pharmaceutical commodities. Additionally, characterization of polymers is vital for other applications, such as uses within the construction, energy and electronic fields.

Novel polymers, including bio-mimetic membranes, mixed matrix membranes, and graphene-based polymers, also require analysis. This is to identify their gas permeabilities, solubilities and sorption and to determine possible future applications.

Gravimetric Polymer Characterization with Hiden Isochema

In order to make sure that experimental parameters are retained throughout several sensitive experiments, very stable instruments must be used within gravimetric polymer characterization assays. This makes sure that the analysis is precise, dependable and repeatable.

One company which supplies gravimetric devices and analyzers for polymer analysis uses Hiden Isochema. This company supplies various devices, including IGA-002, a component gravimetric gas and vapor sorption analyzer, IGAsorp: a vapor sorption (DVS) analyzer, XEMIS-002:  a gravimetric gas and vapor sorption analyzer and The MBR membrane permeation analyzer: a gas permeation analyzer.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Hiden Isochema.

For more information on this source, please visit Hiden Isochema.


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