Plastics analysis at analytica 2014: Optimum quality assurance thanks to the latest developments

24-Mar-2014 - Germany

Modern and functional materials play an increasingly important role in our everyday lives – from medical instruments and consumer goods to industrial high-tech products in the electronics and automotive industries. Complex materials testing and quality control call for increasingly sophisticated devices and methods. Once again, this topic will be a common theme of the program of events at analytica in Munich (April 1–4).

From chromatography and spectroscopy for laboratory analysis to portable devices for taking quick, non-destructive measurements in the field: More than 1,100 international exhibitors will present their latest analysis devices at analytica. "Chemical analysis of plastics is complex and demanding with regard to quality. Besides the actual polymer, softeners, flame-retardants, stabilizers, pigments and a number of other additives must also be analyzed," explains Exhibition Director Susanne Grödl. "Since plastics analysis is one of the main themes of this year's analytica, the fair focuses on the latest developments and methods in this sector."

Qualitative plastics analysis in the laboratory

analytica is the place to be for anyone who wants a comprehensive overview of the entire range of analysis equipment for plastics analysis. Besides instruments for classic plastics analysis, the latest developments in the field of process control and accessories—from scales and laboratory mills to reference materials and reagents—will be presented at the fair. Examples include equipment solutions from leading manufacturers such as Agilent, Axel Semrau, Mettler Toledo, Shimadzu and Bruker as well as systems such as LUM's new LUMIFrac. The device is used to determine adhesive and tensile strengths of composite materials, layered compounds and bonded parts. LUMIFrac is analysis centrifuge with a special rotor that measures eight samples at the same time. The material being tested is subjected to increasing centrifugal force until it finally breaks. Within a matter of seconds, the electronics in the rotor transmit all the data about fracture times and fracture speeds to a connected computer that uses a software solution to compute the corresponding failure strength.

The benchtop NMR analysis system MQC from Oxford Instruments, which will be on display at the stand of LOT Quantum Design, promises simplified sample preparation. In industrial quality control, it can also be used to determine the contents of softeners in PVC, for example.
Analysette 28 from Fritsch can be used to analyze the size and shape of powder and bulk solid particles. The particle analyzer with dynamic image analysis uses a high-resolution camera with four easy-to-exchange lenses. The measuring device is particularly suitable for quality control of particles between 20 micrometers and 20 millimeters in size.

Focus: Handy devices for taking measurements in the field

Complex material properties, diverse application sectors, legal guidelines, ecological and economic aspects: The diverse range of plastic articles on the market also places high demands on control agencies. That is why handy devices for taking quick and reliable measurements in the field are the focus of increased attention when it comes to objects that are difficult to transport. B&W Tek will present the NanoRam, a solution that takes measurements through transparent packaging such as glass or plastic. The ColorLite sph900 and sph860 are two solutions that can be used to test color values in liquids, powders and other solids.

analytica Conference guarantees scientific highlights

Visitors attending analytica should also be sure not to miss lectures from internationally renowned scientists at the analytica Conference, which takes place at the ICM – Internationales Congress Center München from April 1–3. Plastics analysts in particular will find things interesting on Wednesday, April 2 (from 14:30–15:00). That is when Till Gründling will discuss "Tools for the Task–Mastering Challenges in Polymer Characterization by Chromatography Mass Spectrometry" and give participants insights into the use of MALDI-MS, LC(/MS), GC(/MS) and pyrolysis techniques at BASF in Ludwigshafen. The entire program of events is available atwww.analytica.de/en/conference. Visitors attending analytica may participate in the conference free of charge.

Quality testing in the Live Lab for Plastics Analysis

Visitors can gain insights into the challenging world of plastics analysis in the Live Lab in Hall B1, where scientists and users will report on their areas of expertise in a real laboratory environment. International market leaders will present innovative products and solutions in live operation. 30-minute lectures are on the agenda from Tuesday through Thursday at 11:00, 13:00 and 15:00 and on Friday at 11:00 and 13:00. They will focus on specific applications, the latest techniques and state-of-the-art methods: Participants will receive background information about quality assurance, ideal sample preparation, how to determine molecular weight, and how to use thermophysical analyses. Other topics on the program of events include modern blend-analysis methods, long-and short-term weathering and permeation measurement.

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