High temperature gel permeation chromatography (HT-GPC) analysis measures average molecular weight and MW distribution for polymers at elevated temperatures

High temperature gel permeation chromatography (HT-GPC) polymer analysis provides invaluable analytical data on the molecular weight for the widely-used class of polyolefins which includes both polyethylene and polypropylene.
Understanding the molecular weight of these materials, which often perform structural and mechanical roles in their end-application, is crucial as this data will specifically relate to the industrial grade, reliability, performance and quality of the materials.
The analysis of polymers such as polyolefins - whose molecular weight distribution is directly linked to physical properties such as melt viscosity, toughness and crystallinity - which are widely used in a range of applications such as aerospace, automotive, and building products are particularly difficult to analyse. These materials generally have a high degree of crystalline components and analysis often requires elevated temperatures and unusual solvents for both sample dissolution and to maintain solubility.
Specialist equipment and supervision by experienced polymer scientists are both key to successful analysis and interpretation of resulting data. For example, two samples of the same polymer resin may have identical tensile strengths and melt viscosities, and yet differ considerably in their capacity to be fabricated into usable, durable products. These differences can be attributed to small yet very significant variations in the molecular weight distributions of two resin samples, and if they are not detected may result in defects in the product.
Our polymer experts utilise high performance, integrated gel permeation chromatography systems (also known as Size Exclusion Chromatography, SEC) that allow the sample to be held at an elevated temperature and maintains this temperature throughout the analysis. Our expertise in HT-GPC allows the measurement of average molecular weights and molecular weight distributions for polymers that will not dissolve in standard GPC solvents at conventional temperatures.
Using this approach, Intertek polymer laboratories routinely carry out HT-GPC for a range of polymer types including both polyethylene and polypropylene along with other polymers, as listed below.
HT-GPC polymer analysis experience
• Polyethylene
• Polypropylene
• Poly Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate
• Poly Ethylene-Methyl Acrylate
• Butyl rubber and other types of Rubber
• Poly Ethylene Propylene Diamine Rubber
• Polyphenylene Oxide
Across the polymers and plastics supply chain, our scientists have the knowledge to help you improve and qualify materials and products. By applying our expertise in polymer testing and analysis using advanced techniques such as HT-GPC we can help you to overcome the challenges to materials testing, performance and quality to give your business a significant commercial advantage.
We can help you to understand the properties and behaviour of polymers: key to designing new materials with appropriate performance characteristics for specific applications.

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