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Polymers and fibers

Polymers and fibers

Additives, crystalline/amorphous ratio and orientation

Many plastic polymers and fibers have some order and can be identified and studied by X-ray diffraction methods. These polymers are, at least in part, crystalline or pseudo-crystalline with partially ordered structures which cause diffraction peaks. In fact, the percent crystallinity in a polymer can be determined by X-ray diffraction methods. This crystalline/amorphous ratio is often related to processing methods and is of much importance in polymer chemistry. Other uses of XRD in plastics and polymers research and production include: determination of unit cell type and lattice parameters, determination of the microstructure, and determination of crystallographic orientation through pole figures.

During development and production, the compounds in polymers have to be controlled strictly to meet the national and international regulations avoiding potential danger due to hazardous and toxic substances. Directives for the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), as well as End of Life Vehicle (ELV), include restrictions for the use of cadmium (Cd), mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), chromium (VI) (Cr) and poly-brominated (Br) flame retardants (PBB and PBDE) in order to mitigate potential risks to health or environment. For all tasks in polymer R&D and production, X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy can identify and quantify concentrations of the aforementioned additives - as well as antimony, barium, calcium, copper, phosphorus, titanium, zinc and all other elements from sodium through uranium.

Rigaku recommends the following systems:


A modernized 2D Kratky system that eliminates data corrections required of traditional systems

New 6th-generation general purpose benchtop XRD system for phase i.d and phase quantification

Highly versatile multipurpose X-ray diffractometer with built-in intelligent guidance

High-performance, multi-purpose XRD system for applications ranging from R&D to quality control

Benchtop tube below sequential WDXRF spectrometer analyzes O through U in solids, liquids and powders

High-performance, Cartesian-geometry EDXRF elemental analyzer measures Na to U in solids, liquids, powders and thin films

New 60 kV EDXRF system featuring QuantEZ software and optional standardless analysis

EDXRF spectrometer with powerful Windows® software and optional FP.