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Application Note

Polymer Identification using Mid Infrared Spectroscopy

Introduction

Synthetic polymers are very widely used today, with diverse applications in various industries such as food, automotive, and packaging. The quality of plastic products depends on the quality of the polymers or polymer blends used during manufacturing, so identity verification and quality testing of those materials during every stage of manufacturing is necessary to ensure that only high-quality material is used. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy is ideally suited to qualitative analysis of polymer starting materials and finished products as well as to quantification of components in polymer mixtures and to analysis of in-process samples. This application note describes several approaches to the measurement and analysis of IR spectra of typical polymer samples, and applies the techniques to the identification of some industrial polymer samples.