December 10, 2020 | News & Notices
Shimadzu’s New FTIR-Based Plastic Analyzer Simplifies Evaluation of Plastic Degradation
Ideally Suited for Analyzing Microplastics or Contaminants
Shimadzu announces the release of the Plastic Analyzer, a Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrophotometer for evaluating plastic degradation. The system comprises an IRSpirit FTIR spectrophotometer, a Thermal-damaged plastics library, a UV-damaged plastics library (newly released), a Plastic Analyzer method package (newly released), and a QATR-S single-reflection ATR accessory for the IRSpirit series.* This all-in-one package includes all the hardware and software necessary for analyzing microplastics, contaminants, and other plastic substances that have been degraded by UV light or heat.
Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrophotometers detect infrared light transmitted through or reflected from samples and then apply a Fourier transform process to identify wavelength components. They are especially well-suited for identifying or quantitating substances or for predicting chemical structures.
On production lines, for example, FTIR systems are typically used to identify plastic contaminants in order to infer how the contamination occurred or to prepare countermeasures. However, thermal and UV degradation can prevent correct identification of plastics because the degradation changes their FTIR spectra.
To resolve that problem, Shimadzu released the Thermal-damaged plastics library in 2016. That is now being followed up with the newly released UV-damaged plastics library, which is a database for identifying plastics degraded by ultraviolet rays. The Plastic Analyzer package includes both libraries, which means contaminants can be identified with significantly more accuracy than before. It is also useful for analyzing microplastics floating in marine environments, which has attracted significant interest in recent years.
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