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POLYMER TESTING | TECHNOLOGY


Whether for development or quality purposes, reliable polymer characterisation is essential in modern production plant. Jennifer Markarian explores the latest developments and learns more about the impact of Big Data


Polymer analysis moves from lab to production


The ability to analyse the rheology and other properties of polymers and the components of polymer compounds is vital for product and process development and quality control purposes. Tools range from the simple but useful melt flow indexer to more complex instruments such as dynamic-mechanical analysis (DMA). And it is not just about laboratory-based testing — line-side and on-line instruments are growing in importance as testing and integration technology advances and process control systems become more sophisticated. And the ability to collect, store, and analyse ever greater volumes of data is making new ways of thinking about polymer analysis possible. Sensor and polymer testing equipment group


Dynisco has expanded its polymer evaluation products for laboratory testing with the release of the LMI5500 Series Melt Flow Indexer for


www.compoundingworld.com


thermoplastics. A unified software platform between laboratory and online production equipment in this latest model is said to enable processors to more easily obtain detailed analytics globally on a single dashboard. Other features for improved ease of use include an easy-to-clean and remove inspection plate; improved access for sample cutting; and a revamped and more intuitive touchscreen. In addition, the new instrument’s gravitational correction feature (for which a provisional patent has been obtained) takes into account gravity based on geographical location in relation to the equator, which is said to improve accuracy. While instruments such as melt flow indexers or capillary rheometers (utilised for measuring apparent viscosity) are used offline in the lab, online rheometers are increasingly being used to provide a continuous data stream of rheological


Main image: The ability to measure polymer properties such as rheology is vital for


development and QC purposes, with many now doing that in the lab and on the production line


January 2019 | COMPOUNDING WORLD 35


PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK


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