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Characterizing method for polymers

sponsored by Malvern Panalytical

Techniques for the measurement of molecular weight, molecular size and branching.


Polymers are ubiquitous throughout industry, in the form of naturally occurring materials, such as cellulose and starch, and synthetic commodities - polystyrene, polyethylene and nylon, for example. As polymer technologies advance, the strength, stability, chemical resistance, and performance modifying properties of these industrially vital materials are meeting increasingly diverse applications. Accurate and precise polymer characterization is essential from R&D through to QC, to ensure that advanced materials meet the exacting performance targets expected of them.

The functionality of polymers is defined by their molecular weight (MW), MW distribution, molecular size and structure, the degree of chain branching or cross linking. Effective and efficient methods for measuring these properties are therefore an essential part of the polymer developer’s analytical toolkit.

This whitepaper reviews the methods available for measuring the key characteristics of polymers focusing on the benefits and value of gel permeation / size exclusion chromatography (GPC/SEC). Much of the paper talks exclusively about polymers, however many of the principles discussed are equally applicable to proteins or protein conjugate materials.

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