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Advantages of LCMS-IT-TOF Mass Spectrometry in Identifying Polymer Additives


Plastics are as ubiquitous in the 21st century as naturally occurring molecules such as wood and water. They are simply part of how we define our world and our place in it. Hundreds of polymers are used in thousands of applications, from shelter to transportation to food and beverage packaging. As innovation expands polymer types and uses, formulations become increasingly complex.

That's because new applications almost always require additives to produce performance properties - toughness, flexibility, conductivity, antistatic qualities and such - to match polymers to applications.

Further, adding performance modifiers can cause changes in look, feel, color, adhesion, flammability, durability or countless other characteristics. So, formulators must add even more modifiers to compensate for these unwanted transformations.

Processing characteristics - melt point, flow, density, mold release, etc. - often necessitate even more additives. One polymer line from one manufacturer may contain dozens of different additives or additive blends among the line's individual products, depending on each polymer's grade and intended use.

Thus, identifying additives in polymer formulations is critical to product formulation for performance, health, safety and cost of manufacture. It also allows for analysis of competitive products and investigating alternative technologies.

This white paper will examine the use and advantages of using LCMS-IT-TOF mass spectrometry to identify unknown additives in polymer formulations. It will explain applications for this technology, look at polymer additives and their functions, and show sample methodologies and results.

Source: Shimadzu Corp.