Polymer Identification & Plastic Identification

By | May 5, 2010

Polymer & Plastic Recycling Codes
Polyme/Plastic Recycling Codes

Many times a company will get asked to manufacture a polymer or plastic part using only a sample part to guide them. Not an easy task at times, especially since literally thousands of polymer and plastic materials exist — and that does not count begin to take into account the number of blends and inorganic filler combinations possible!

To the left you will see a quick and dirty plastic recycling code chart, but that only works if the plastic you need identified came stamped with a recycling code — and as we discussed on this site in a previous posting, sometimes those plastic recycling codes may not tell the whole story about a part’s polymer/plastic content.

In cases where you have an unmarked plastic or polymer part, you don’t trust the recycling code on the part, and/or you want to know about filler content, etc., a lab such as Polymathic Analytical Labs which specializes in polymer identification can help.

Through the use of polymer and plastics analysis techniques such as FT-IR Analysis, Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), a polymer testing lab can determine the base polymer material used to manufacture a plastic part, inorganic filler content, melting temperature, glass transition temperature, degradation temperature, and more.


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