How to Produce High-Quality Thin Films of Polymers and Plastic Materials for Infrared Transmission Analysis

In order to accurately analyze polymers and plastics in the IR region, the creation of a thin film is often required. The Mini-Film Maker from Specac is designed to make this process as simple as possible, providing a high quality thin film for accurate IR analysis.

Mini-Film Maker

The Mini-Film Maker hot presses pellets of polymers or plastics at temperatures between room temperature and 250 °C. The controlled environment means that films of consistent thickness can be produced with diameters of 15 mm and controlled thickness of 15 to 1500 um.

The temperature of the Mini-Film Maker is controlled digitally. To form a film a hydraulic press is used to push two heated plates together. The plates can be heated to a specific temperature, i.e. the sample melt point, before operation and during use. When making a film, 10 – 30 mg of sample is placed into the required sizing ring and then placed between the heated plates with foil protective covers.

Once the sample has been inserted and the plates are at the correct temperature, pressure is applied (at 0.5 T) to hot press the film – this is achieved by the manual operation of a pressure knob. Following film production the plates rapidly return to room temperature by a cooling plate, following which the new film can be removed. Following its production, the film can be placed on a Specacard (an adhesive substrate) for IR analysis.

Using the Mini-Film maker allows researchers to produce a high-quality thin film for IR analysis in less than 5 minutes – a time significantly shorter than non-conventional methods.

The Mini-Film Maker is especially useful for the quality and process analysis of plastics and polymers, as the reliable method of film production produces repeatable results. Additionally the films can also be used for material testing of polymers, e.g. tensile strength testing.

The Mini-Film Maker Kit includes the press itself, the digital temperature control system (with EU, US and UK power connections), and the sizing rings required to make films (15, 25, 50, 250 and 500 micron widths). Additionally 200 pairs of protective foil (Al) disks, tweezers for application, 10 Specacards for IR analysis and a cooling plate are supplied.

Key Features

  • Quick and reproducible thin film production
  • Sample melt points from ambient to 250 oC
  • Dedicated film maker accessory with hydraulic press and integrated heating platens
  • Standard film sizing rings of 15, 25, 50, 100, 250 and 500 microns

Specifications

. .
Maximum load 2 Tons
Temperature range Ambient to 250 °C
Temperature control 1 °C steps
Thin film formed diameter 15 mm
Thin film thicknesses (nominal) 15, 25, 50, 100, 250 & 500 microns
Press dimensions (excluding lead screws) 104 x 198 x 197 mm (WxHxL)
Weight of press and controller 5.7 Kg
Supply voltage 110/220 V
Output voltage 30 V dc
Heater power 35 W

 

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

For more information on this source, please visit Specac.

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