The installation of a multi-detection Viscotek TDAmax gel permeation chromatography (GPC) system from Malvern Panalytical is enabling Dow Corning Europe S.A. in Belgium to meet customer demand for increasingly comprehensive polymer structure data.
In addition, Dow Corning experts are saving resources by applying rapid, cost-effective GPC methods to pre-select the most promising new polymer candidates, significantly reducing the number of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) investigations required wherever possible.
"We're seeing increased demand from our customers for structural data and for more in-depth characterization of polymer and co-polymer samples," said Mr Stephane Cornelis, Global Business Service - Analytical Sciences, Dow Corning Europe S.A.
"Structural information is beneficial because we can quickly compare samples and characterize any changes in behaviour following polymer grafting, for example. The Viscotek GPC with triple detection uses an easy-to-read Mark-Houwink-Sakurada plot to visualize changes in molecular weight and intrinsic viscosity against a reference sample. This is a real time saver!" explained Mr Cornelis
"Additionally," he continued. "By using multiple-detection GPC to characterize new polymer candidates we have been able to pre-select only the most interesting for further study. This has allowed us to reduce the number of more expensive and time consuming NMR investigations."
Established in 1943 specifically to explore and develop the potential of silicones, Dow Corning is a global leader in silicones and silicon-based technology and innovation. The company now offers more than 7,000 products and services.
Viscotek instruments apply a combination of refractive index (RI), viscosity, light scattering and ultra-violet (UV) detection following GPC sample separation. With the detectors connected in series, the entire measurement sequence uses a single, un-split volume of sample to deliver high accuracy results.