Process Monitoring for Recycled Polymer Extrusion

Polymer extrusion is a high-volume manufacturing process which converts raw plastic pellets into a uniform material. Tornado’s Raman Analyzer has been shown to be suitable for characterizing Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) solid, the polymer of interest in this case. PET is used in plastic water bottles and as an additive woven into polyester yarn for clothing. By using Raman spectroscopy for in-line measurements of the polymer melt, the material properties can be determined in real time; suppliers can be characterized and possible degradants and impurities can be detected allowing the process engineer to react quicker to ever-changing production conditions.

Real-time Reaction Monitoring of Cure Cycle of Photopolymers

Photopolymers possess unique capabilities, including the possibility for ambient temperature curing and the potential for control over where and when the polymer cures. These capabilities have given rise to a variety of products and processes including dental materials, contact lenses, coatings, microfluidic device fabrication, tissue engineering matrices, and photolithography.

The use of the Tornado Raman spectrometer enabled accurate diagnostic tracking of the cure cycle of the photopolymer. This led to a level of understanding of the chemical changes during curing that had not been previously elucidated. The full resin cure percentage and the rate of cure can now be modeled with this approach. This level of process understanding was greatly enhanced with the sensitivity and speed of measurement facilitated by the HyperFlux™ PRO Plus spectrometer.

Monitoring and Analysis of Polymers

Polymerization is the process of combining small molecular subunits (monomers) into a covalently bonded chain. These covalent bonds influence the properties of the polymer and determine properties such as chain length, side groups, branching and cross-linking. Molecular vibrations modifying the dipole moment of a molecule are seen by IR spectroscopy, whereas polarizability vibrations are detected by Raman spectroscopy. 

Tornado’s Raman Spectrometer Analyzers can be an effective technique for the monitoring and analysis of various polymers such as; polyethylene, polyurethane, polypropylene, poly-vinyl chloride, polystyrene and many other different polymer types.

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Case Studies

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“We have been working with Tornado for over three years now. A superb Raman instrument supported by knowledgeable, helpful, friendly people.”

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