TREF and CRYSTAF technologies for Polymer Characterization

Published in: Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry.
2000 Issue, Pages 8074 – 8094.
Author: B. Monrabal.
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Temperature rising elution fractionation (TREF) and crystallization analysis fractionation (CRYSTAF) are separation techniques for the characterization of semicrystalline polymers in terms of chemical composition. TREF has become a powerful tool for preparative polymer fractionation and for the analysis of the chemical composition distribution (CCD) in polyolefins. CRYSTAF, a more recent technique and with a simple hardware design, provides a faster approach for the analysis of the CCD. Both TREF and CRYSTAF separate according to the crystallizability of the polymer molecules, which is influenced by tacticity or the  comonomer incorporation into the chain. TREF and CRYSTAF are becoming specially relevant in the characterization of the new and complex polyolefins made with combinations of homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts.

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