Additives in plastics and polymers
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Detecting and quantifying additives in plastics and polymers is a common request in polymer analysis.
Additives have an influence on the material properties of plastics and polymers. For example, UV absorbers ensure light resistance, flame retardants inhibit combustion, and plasticizers make the plastic or polymer more elastic.
Possibly, you would like to verify a plastic type contains no critical additives (e.g. phthalates). Our team analyzes additives in polycarbonate, polyesters, polyamides, polyolefins, polyurethanes and rubbers daily.
Our portfolio includes tests for the following additives:
- UV absorbers
- Release agents and lubricants
- Flame retardants
- Thermal stabilizers
- Crosslinking additives
We at CURRENTA Analytics have years of experience in the field of additive analytics. Furthermore, we can offer a wide range of different analysis methods.
We can detect or identify the additives directly in the polymer matrix via NMR spectroscopy, IR spectroscopy or thermal desorption GC/MS at sufficient concentration of the additive.
Another approach is to separate polymers and additives before the analysis. For the separation, we use extraction methods such as the accelerated solvent extraction (ASE). This extraction method affords high yields of the additive. We can separate the UV absorbers, thermal stabilizers, antioxidants and demolding agents quantitatively from the polymer matrix.
Our analytic experts can help you to find a suitable solvent for your individual polymer or plastic matrix.
We can also analyze and identify the additives in the extract e.g. via thin-layer chromatography (TLC) or NMR spectroscopy. Through heteronuclear NMR spectroscopy, like 31P-NMR or 19F-NMR, we can determine the additives in the extract. With these different methods, it is possible to receive qualitative and semi-quantitative results. Sometimes, the identification of the additive with these methods is not possible instead we use coupled techniques like GC-MS or LC-MS) to identify the additives. We use our large database with spectra of reference substances for each analysis to identify every additive in the sample.
For the quantitative analysis of additives, we use our developed instrumental, chromatographic methods. It depends on the concentration of additive either we use liquid chromatography (HPLC) or gas chromatography (GC) for the quantification. If you need a customized method for the identification and quantification, we will gladly develop it for you.