Polymer Solutions Incorporated, an ISO/IEC 17025 accredited company that provides independent chemical analysis, physical testing, and research and development (R&D) services, now has the ability to supply gel permeation chromatography (GPC) services in hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP). GPC measures the molecular weight distribution of soluble polymer samples. HFIP is a solvent for polyamides (Nylons), polyesters, polyacetals, and polyglycolide. These polymers are used in many important industrial applications, including packaging, textiles, and medical devices.
According to Chromatography Group Leader Jason Todd, “The use of HFIP as a GPC solvent allows us to provide high quality molecular weight data on these commercially important polymers. HFIP is advantageous because it allows the GPC analysis to be performed at room temperature. Other solvents for these plastic materials typically require high temperatures for solubility. Higher temperatures increase the risk of sample degradation during analysis. HFIP also provides higher quality GPC results compared to the high temperature solvents.”
Many independent laboratories do not perform GPC analysis in HFIP because HFIP is very expensive and corrosive. PSI has implemented specific measures to enable safe and economical use of HFIP as a GPC solvent, including enclosing the chromatograph in its own custom-designed fume hood, and instituting a program for HFIP solvent recovery and purity monitoring.
In addition to HFIP, Polymer Solutions Incorporated performs GPC analysis in many other organic solvents, including tetrahydrofuran (THF), chloroform, toluene, N,N-dimethylacetamide (DMAc), N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF), N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP), and aqueous buffer systems. Many types of detection for GPC are available including refractive index (RI), ultraviolet absorbance (UV), viscometric, and laser light scattering.