The ash test of plastic samples is used to determine inorganic content. Inorganics have a major influence on the mechanical specification and behaviour of plastics to plastics. The analysis is therefore crucial for quality characteristics. Additional natural products can be added in the production so the nature and quantity are specified and have to be verified as part of Quality Control. On the other hand, components in recycled materials might be unknown and therefore have to be determined additionally. If the moisture content is too high then this is harmful in the processing of plastic granules.
Automation of moisture and ash analysis with the prepASH provides efficiency, quality and security into the laboratory. Plastic is the common term for a wide range of synthetic or semi synthetic organic amorphous solid materials suitable for the manufacture of industrial
products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular weight, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce costs. Polymers are often blended with inorganic fillers, mainly to enhance the mechanical properties of the plastic (e.g. fibreglass) or dyeing (white colour: Titanoecid). Plastics can contain small organic molecules (polymer plasticiser, internal lubricants) and Carbon (carbon fibre). An ash test is used to determine the total thermal stable filler content. It cannot identify individual percentages in multi-filled materials without additional test procedures being performed.
Fibreglass is used as a reinforcing agent for many polymer products. The resulting composite material, correctly known as fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) or glass-reinforced plastic (GRP), is called “fibreglass” in popular usage. As with many other composite materials, the two materials act together, each overcoming the deficiencies of the other. Whereas plastic resins are strong in compressive loading and relatively weak in tensile strength, the glass fibres are very strong in tension but have no strength against compression. By combining the two materials, GRP becomes a material that resists both compressive and tensile forces well. The two materials may be used uniformly or the glass may be specifically placed in those portions of the structure that will experience tensile loads. The fibreglass content of the plastic can easily be determined by ashing. The polymer is burned or decomposed at high temperatures whereas the glass resists heat and is measured as the residual ash.
GF20: 20 % fibreglass, GF30: 30% fibreglass
Reduced time and effort: prepASH is a fully automatic drying and ashing machine. This removes the requirement for multiple weighings, removal of hot material and reduces the time spent as there is no requirement for cooling post analysis in a desiccator. Working in groups of
similar samples in a single run increases efficiency and optimises analysis time.
Improved safety and efficiency: No more exposure to extremely hot areas and or open flames. With the prepASH analysis can be performed automatedly in time slots where the laboratory is empty or occasionally used such as nighttime runs.
Improve the quality of your results by up to 20%: In the case where ash determination has to be re-analysed because of faulty/undefined results, the automated nature of the prepASH reduces the need for rework of samples.
Detailed analysis reports: Due to the permanent recording of measurements during the entire process and the automatic saving of the final results, all data can be retrieved at any time.
Standard Method with oven
|Burning off of crucibles for constant weight before||Possibility to pre-define a ”burning off” crucibles|
|Tare of crucible one by one||AUTOMATIC PROCEDURE|
|Addition of sample||Dry Matter||Sampling|
|Weighing + documentation of each crucible||AUTOMATIC + sample addition by operator|
|Samples in drying oven + START||START PROGRAM|
|Removing samples from oven + cool down||Results (moisture)|
|Back weighing samples, calculation (moisture)|
|Pre-ashing with rapid incinerator or hot plate||Results (ash)|
|Samples in muffle furnace for Ash content||Ash|
|Remove samples + cooling down in desiccator|
|Calculation and documentation (ash)|
|Back weighing for stable results (repeat?)|
You can download the complete application note as a pdf: Ash and Moisture Applications for Plastic and Composites
If you would like to find out more about TGA Analysis we have a excellent range of Thermogravimetric Analysers that could accommodate your needs on our website. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch, someone from our team will be happy to assist you.
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