Polymer quality control: Real-time near infrared testing cuts cost up to 90%

While traditional testing is critical in determining polymerization factors, from simple moisture content to complete chemical analysis, it is time consuming, labor intensive, and has substantial ongoing costs in terms of the purchase and disposal of consumables such as reagents and chemicals. Conventionally, it requires sample preparation, and can take five to 15 minutes for moisture testing, and 24 to 48 hours for more complex chemical testing. Fortunately, an approach using near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy can now provide immediate, real time laboratory quality readings via a non-contact, secondary measurement method that can deliver moisture, composition analysis and even full spectrum readings for a fraction of the running cost of conventional methods.

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Elastomer testing industry

Global test standards published by organizations such as ASTM International or ISO include methods to characterize the fundamental properties of materials, as well as more application specific properties. ASTM D412, one of the more elementary elastomer tests, is a widely used test standard for determining the tensile properties of all thermosetting and thermoplastic elastomers, no matter their intended use. ASTM D412 measures two of the three fundamental properties mentioned above: tensile strength and elongation at break.

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Accelerate product development testing by digitalizing formulator knowledge

Product formulation knowledge has, by convention, typically remained an expertise held by a small
number of highly experienced individuals within organizations. These individuals are often chemists
who have amassed an impressive amount of both physical knowledge (countless datasets) and
intrinsic experience (under-documented subject matter “know-how” and insight) through long
careers spent studying relevant scientific principles and conducting physical experiments.

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Compression stress relaxation (CSR) testing: considerations in an era Of ISO 17025 proficiency testing

In looking at elastomer testing in general and CSR testing in particular, there can be variations in the results when theoretically testing to the same test procedure. There can be various reasons for this, from equipment that is not capable, to procedures that are not adequate, to operators that are not knowledgeable. In the rubber industry, which can be considered a “legacy” industry, this can be even more problematic due to issues related to variations in the material, mixing and processing. These items can have a significant effect on the variation of properties of a cured product. Being a legacy business or industry, the rubber industry has been around for about 175 years, with materials based on synthetic polymers dating back about 100 years.

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