A reliable and automated instrument to measure the intrinsic viscosity of polymers
Fully-automated instrument for intrinsic viscosity analysis of polymers in solution.
The Intrinsic Viscosity Analyzer (IVA) is the response to the market’s need for a reliable and automatic viscosity meter for Intrinsic Viscosity (IV) analysis of polymeric materials in solution. The IVA instrument integrates a robust dual-capillary relative viscometer that can analyze a wide range of polymers with IV values ranging from 0.1dL/g to over 40dL/g, such as polyolefins, polystyrene, polyvinyl alcohol, PET, PMMA, and others, by using almost any organic solvent.
IVA is part of Polymer Char’s Quality Control (QC) platform, which delivers, in a reduced footprint, a robust instrument that is completely automatic and easy to use.
The process is simple, the analyst places the vials with polymer into the autosampler’s room-temperature tray and the instrument takes care of the rest. The autosampler moves the vials into the dissolution oven, fills them with the correct amount of solvent, and dissolves the sample with a gentle shake. The dissolution temperature, shaking intensity, non-oxidative atmosphere with nitrogen, and time are accurately controlled, so the analyst can select the optimum conditions to achieve full dissolution while minimizing thermal degradation.
The viscometer’s capillaries and tubing do not require manual washing or rinsing, as this is done by the instrument itself.
The careful design of the heated compartment and transfer lines avoids cold spots, so even the most challenging polymers can be analyzed without plugging issues, providing robust and precise viscosity values over time.
The analysis of polyolefins and other polymers with significant C-H content can be further improved by incorporating an Infrared detector IR4 to accurately quantify the injected polymer’s mass, which results in improved precision and accuracy in the intrinsic viscosity results.
INTRINSIC VISCOSITY METHOD:
The IVA complies with the ASTM D5225 (Standard Test Method for Measuring Solution Viscosity of Polymers with a Differential Viscometer)
The Intrinsic Viscosity results provided by IVA are also in good agreement with the Ubbelohde-type glass capillary methods of reference (ISO 1628-3:2010 f.i. and ASTM D1601)
· Full-automation of dissolution and analysis processes. No manual solvent handling
· No need for accurate weighing when the optional IR detector is used
· High-temperature autosampler for dissolution of samples in the same instrument
· Self-cleaning design based on dual capillary relative viscometer
· Simple to operate and reliable instrument
· High precision achieved by automation
· Up to 42 samples can be analyzed sequentially without user intervention
· Analysis of high and ultrahigh molar mass polymers
· Low solvent consumption
· Compatible with most organic solvents such as decaline, chloroform, tetrahydrofuran, tri-chlorobenzene, and others
· Excellent correlation IV results with the traditional glass capillary system of the Ubbelohde type for different polymers
IR4 is a dual-wavelength infrared detector, which uses the principle of infrared absorption spectroscopy to measure the concentration and composition in polyolefins. When analyzing polymers containing significant C-H content, the IR4 detector can be used to accurate quantify the injected mass, eliminating the need to weigh the sample.
IVA is controlled by an intuitive and easy-to-use software that automates the analytical process and provides tools for instrument maintenance and advanced operations.
Two operation modes are available: Operator and Administrator.
In Operator mode, the software allows routine analysis to be performed using a pre-defined method. The only manual tasks required are putting the polymer pellets (or powder) inside the analysis vials and starting the software. In about 2 hours, the whole analytical process will be completed, including sample dissolution and analysis. The intrinsic viscosity results are automatically generated and stored in a Results Table.
In Administrator mode – apart from the Operator mode functions – the analytical and data processing conditions can be optimized, calibration methods are available, as well as the ability to review and re-process previously analyzed files.
The results from all the analyzed samples are stored in separate files in the computer’s hard disk, and organized in a database for a convenient management of all the historical data. The intrinsic viscosity value, as well as the concentration measured by the infrared detector (if using), is directly provided by the software.
The IVA Software also incorporates a “manual mode”. This manual mode functions as a virtual instrumentation interface that allows the user to perform any action on any hardware element (autosampler, solvent dispenser, valves, etc). Consequently, the user does not need to work manually at high temperature nor handle solvents during maintenance or diagnosis tasks.
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The main purpose of IVA is to analyze the intrinsic viscosity of any polymer, such as Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyethylene terephthalate (PET), Polystyrene (PS), Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), Polyvinyl Chloride resins (PVC), Polycarbonate (PC), Thermoplastic Polyester (TP), Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA), Cellulose diacetate, Polyacrylonitrile (PAN), to name a few.
Other applications are also possible. If your sample is not listed above, please contact us for more information.
The IVA has an autosampler that can handle up to 42 vials. The samples are dissolved and analyzed automatically, no supervision required. The total analysis time will depend on the dissolution time and number of injections per vial. Each injection of each vial will last the programmed analysis time, typically 15 minutes. Only the dissolution time of the first sample should be added to this total time, as the dissolution of the following sample will be carried out while the previous sample is being analyzed.
Between 4 and 16mg of sample for preparing a 0.25 to 1mg/mL solution in a 20 mL autosampler vial.
The equipment is compatible with most organic solvents.
The solvent used will depend on the polymer to be analyzed as the polymer has to be in solution for the analysis.
PE, PP, EP, UHMWPE:
Decaline, trichlorobenzene, orto-dichlorobenzene.
Mixtures of phenol:TCE and phenol:orto-dichlorobenzene.
IVA instrument can be used for room temperature applications, and for high temperature applications up to 180ºC, depending on the polymer and solvent to be analyzed.
The analysis and dissolution temperature are independent, so different temperatures can be used for each step.
The only manual tasks required are weighing the dry samples, putting them inside disposable glass vials, and placing those vials in the autosampler tray. The rest of the steps are performed by the instrument automatically: filling the vials with solvent, sample dissolution, injection, as well as rinsing the valves and lines.
As the samples are being analyzed, a summary table with the automatic calculations generated by the software is shown on the computer screen.
The user always has the possibility of validating the results generated automatically with the IVA software.
A reporting tool has also been developed to generate Excel reports adapted to each user needs.
The intrinsic viscosity results provided by the IVA instrument are very reliable. We have tested different polymers in various solvents, and all intrinsic viscosity results show good agreement with the traditional methods of reference (ISO 1628-3:2010 f.i.)
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