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Case Study: Identification of Unknown Contaminant

PROBLEM: Unknown white residue was contaminating the surface of black molded plastic parts

SOLUTION: Utilize Impact Analytical’s problem solving expertise to identify the unknown contaminant by infrared analysis.

TECHNIQUES: Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR)

A leading plastic resin manufacturer contacted the experts at Impact Analytical to help identify a white residue contaminating the surface of their black molded plastic parts.   The white fleck contaminants were believed to be the mold release agent used on the parts but required accurate identification for confirmation.

FT-IR is an excellent tool for characterizing and identifying various contaminants in many applications.  Impact Analytical gently removed the white residue from the molded part and analyzed it using DuraScope diamond ATR accessory attached to a Thermo-Nicolet Nexus 670 FT-IR spectrometer.  The spectrum of the white residue was found to be a stearamide, similar to N-(2-hydroxyethyl)stearamide.   

Using Impact Analytical’s FT-IR results, the resin manufacturer was able to match the contaminant to their process to eliminate the problem for reoccurring.

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