Plasticizers (also referred to as processing aids, softeners, or extenders) are additives that increase the fluidity of a material.
Adding plasticizers to a compound will increase the flexibility, and processability of a compound. While there are many types to choose from, the compatibility of the plasticizer with the elastomer must be assessed to avoid bleeding of the plasticizer from the cured system.
Two options for plasticizer analysis are qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative results can be used to reverse engineer compounds or for competitive analysis of compounds or final products.
Common method used to evaluate the presence and quantity of plasticizers and other specific ingredients in compounds include:
- Gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC-MS): identify unknown substances in a sample by comparing results to commonly known chemical “fingerprints”.
- Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR
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