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History

Polymer Char was established by Dr. Benjamín Monrabal in 1992 in the Valencia Technology Park in Spain, being registered as Polymer Characterization, S.A.

Its initial goal was to develop a commercial CRYSTAF instrument, a new patented technology developed by Dr. Monrabal at The Dow Chemical Company laboratories to measure the Chemical Composition Distribution in semicrystalline polymers by using only one temperature cycle.

The first CRYSTAF 100 prototype was presented in the Pittsburgh Conference (Pittcon) in 1994 in Chicago, and it was in 1995 when the first unit was acquired by a leading petrochemical company in South Korea.

To count on the most accurate analysis for all its instruments, Polymer Char acquired in 1993 from a leading optoelectronic research center in Scandinavia an Infrared Detection technology fully-dedicated to polyolefin characterization.

Today, practically every petrochemical company in the world counts on the stand-alone Infrared Detector IR4, using it as a concentration and/or composition detector in HT-HPLC techniques such as Size Exclusion Chromatography as for its excellent baseline stability versus the refractive index detectors, traditionally used in GPC instruments.

Consolidated the performance of the CRYSTAF equipment and with an advanced and precise detector for polyolefin analysis, Polymer Char continued developing and marketing new instruments for polyolefin characterization.

In 1996, Polymer Char developed a TREF automated system, as well as PREP mc2 together with a German chemical company, to fractionate polymers by molar mass and by composition.

In 1999, the company launched CRYSTEX, developed in collaboration with a Belgian Polypropylene company to automate the Xylene Solubles measurement, as a fully robust and reliable alternative to traditional gravimetric methods, previously performed in PP laboratories.

In 2005, Polymer Char developed CEF. Being initiated the procedures to obtain the patent one year later, this equipment was based on an innovative crystallization concept to obtain the Chemical Composition Distribution in polyolefins, obtaining the same results than TREF in 10 times shorter.

In the same year, Dr. Monrabal together with Dr. Colin Li Pi Shan, from The Dow Chemical Company and Prof. João Soares, from the University of Waterloo, founded the International Conference on Polyolefin Characterization. Having been favorably held the first edition in Houston in 2006, next editions held in Valencia in 2008 and Shanghai in 2010 were also successfully, where Prof. Minoru Terano, from the Japan Institute of Science and Technology, and Prof. Dujin Wang, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, joined in the Committee in the respective editions. The ICPC Conference, organized by Polymer Char, represents nowadays the meeting-point par excellence for Polyolefin Characterization experts all over the world.

In 2006, Polymer Char designed CFC, according to the request of a prestigious Japanese chemical company to develop a new benchtop and fully automated instrument to perform TREF+GPC in a single process and therefore obtaining the bivariate distribution in 3 dimension plots. With a very good acceptance of this technology received from the industry, the equipment became a commercial product afterwards.

Polymer Char Headquarters in Valencia, Spain.

In 2007, with all the expertise acquired during the previous 15 years in polyolefin analysis together with Dr. Monrabal’s previous experience in GPC, Polymer Char entered in the Molar Mass Distribution industry. GPC-IR was designed to respond to the features that in the last decade were being demanded by Polyolefin GPC Users, such as a separate column oven compartment, automated in-line filtration, no solvent handling, a comprehensive data processing software, and besides Triple Detection, incorporation of an accurate Composition Sensor (IR4 or IR5 MCT). Three years later, GPC-IR was recognized by the Chemical & Engineering News magazine of the American Chemical Society, as one of the 10 most innovative technologies presented at Pittcon in Orlando.

By the end of 2010, Polymer Char had the pleasure of welcoming Dr. Wallace W. Yau as a Scientific Advisor. Since then, Dr. Yau, the most recognized scientist in GPC, has been contributing significantly on the improvement of Polymer Char’s technology.

In the beginning of 2011, Polymer Char entered into a Value-Added Reseller (VAR) Agreement with Agilent Technologies, the global leader measurement company. Polymer Char, has been incorporating Agilent equipments for almost two decades in its final Polyolefin Analysis solutions, to ensure the highest instrument performance and reliability.

In the last two decades and with an average annual investment of 30% of its manpower resources on R&D, Polymer Char has played a key-role in the development of most of the existing polyolefin analysis technologies, such as CRYSTAF, CRYSTEX, CEF, CFC or GPC with IR detection. Each new project, each new analysis, makes clearer Polymer Char recognition as The Polyolefin Characterization Company.

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