This article introduces the development of an automated and versatile technique for solution viscosity determination of a wide range of polymeric materials in different solvents. Sample preparation is a tedious and error-prone process in viscosity determinations of polymeric materials, especially when elevated temperature or when hazardous solvents are required. This new approach automates sample preparation and injection to the viscometer detector, with benefits in efficiency and safety as well as in analysis precision. The dissolution conditions were studied and optimized to reduce thermal and oxidative degradation, which are detrimental to the accuracy of the observed viscosity.
A method specifically developed to measure the molar mass distribution (MMD) of polyolefins in a manufacturing plant laboratory has been developed. It is demonstrated that the total cycle time, including the sample dissolution step, can be reduced to around 30 min, well in line with the process control requirements.
Polyolefin (PO) is the largest volume industrial polymer in the world for making a wide range of commercial products that touch nearly every aspect of our daily lives, such as automobile parts, pipes, packaging films, household bottles, baby diapers, and so on.