Application Notes

Download the following application notes in PDF format for more information on testing techniques and applications performed by Cambridge Polymer Group.

Material Characterization of Candy Hearts In this application note, we examine the chemical composition, surface topography, flavor and odor of candy hearts, using SEM, EDS, and HS-GC-MS.

A Tale of Two Footballs In this application note, we examine the differences between synthetic and natural leather footballs using FTIR, Optical Microscopy, SEM, and Coefficient of Friction.

Rubber Duck Deformulation In this application note, we examine the properties of a common PVC blend before and after accelerated aging, and under extreme environmental conditions, and review the chemical changes within the material. 

Microbeads in Toothpaste This application note examines microbead-containing toothpaste and its proposed effects on simulated tooth enamel. 

"Choc" Full of Information This application note compares four brands of dark chocolate using multiple analytical techniques, including SEM, DSC, GC/MS, and TGA-FTIR.

Quality Systems and the Vasa This application note discusses product design based on a quality system, and how the Vasa, a Swedish warship, could have used a good quality design system.

Glass Transition by DMA Tg of a cured epoxy by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA). The DMA results are compared to data obtained by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), a commonly used alternative for measuring glass transition temperature.

Anesthesia Contaminants This application note describes the analysis an anesthetic agent by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) to quantitatively determine the concentration of a suspected contaminant or impurity.

Oxygen Content in Packaging This application note describes how to determine the oxygen content and oxygen volume in packaging. 

Free Radicals in Engine Oil Lubricants This application note describes the evolution of free radicals in engine oil due to normal usage in a conventional gasoline engine.  It also discusses briefly the process for sampling and determining the free radical content in engine oil through electron spin resonance. 

ESR Analysis Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) are increasingly common techniques for determining the presence of free radicals in materials.  In this application note we discuss the basic theory and background behind these techniques, and in particular their usage in quantifying residual free-radicals in biomedical polyethylene.

Determining Filler Content in Thermoplastics This application note discusses two techniques to identify and quantify inorganic fillers in thermoplastics. 

Silly Putty This application note discusses the rheological properties of Silly Putty and how it can be used to teach about the strain-rate dependence of polymers.

Car Tire Analysis This application note describes a thermal gravimetric analysis coupled with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (TGA-FTIR) method for compositional analysis and component identification of an automobile tire. Scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) and gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) are also used to assess the minor components in the tire.

GC-MS Quantification of Bone Cement This application note describes residual methyl methacrylate monomer analysis in polymethyl methacrylate-based bone cement using head space gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS).

Surface Energy of Solids  This application note describes the analysis of surface energy of solid substrates using either the sessile drop technique, or a force-rebalance method.  These two approaches give generally compatible values, but provide different tools for examining the surface properties of materials.   

What's in Your Coffee?   This application note shows results from multiple analytical techniques, comparing the results of a decaf coffee to a caffeinated brand.   

Net Ash Measurements in Thermoplastics   This application note discusses the technique for measuring residual non-combustable materials such as catalyst residue in thermoplastics per ISO 3451.

Quantification of Plasticizers in Plastics  This application note describes a test method developed at CPG for the identification and quantification of plasticizer in PVC by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS). For a sample mass of 5-10g, the uncertainty in determining the percent plasticizer content is typically less than 1%.

HFIP Analysis This application note describes a method of measuring hexafluoroisopropanol (HFIP) via gaschromatography/mass spectroscopy.

Radiopacity Experiments This application note describes the method of measuring radiopacity of materials using ASTM F640.

Fatigue Crack Propagation Experiments This application note describes fatigue crack propagation analysis, specifically on ultra high molecular weight polyethylene.

Mooney Rivlin Experiments The CPG Mooney-Rivlin Apparatus described in this Application note is used to calculate stress and strain in an elastomer material. 

Compliance of Hydrogel Mock Arteries This brief report summarizes compliance testing on hydrogel tubes used for model vascular systems (mock arteries).

The theory of birefringence A primer to the analysis of optical anisotropy in samples through birefringence measurements.

Microbead Swelling Measurements This application note presents a technique to monitor the swelling behavior of micro-beads when placed in a solvent.

CaBER Measurements to Determine Yield Stress This application note discusses the use of Capillary breakup extensional rheometry to determine the yield stress of Bingham-type materials.

Imaging Biological Tissue and Hydrogels with Quick Freeze Deep Etch The technique of QFDE and its application towards microscopic imaging of hydrated polymers or tissue is discussed.

Creep in Crosslinked Polymers This note discusses the nature of creep in crosslinked materials, with examples drawn from orthopedic implants.

Experimental Protocol to Analyze Trace Oil in Porous Titanium This note details an experimental technique used to extract oil from porous titanium components found in the orthopedic industry, then analyze the contents to determine the total amount of oil extracted.

Experimental Techniques in Evaluating Crosslinked Polyethylene We summarize common experimental techniques used to examine crosslinking efficiency and side-products induced during ionizing radiation crosslinking of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene.

Capillary Breakup Extensional Rheometry The basic theory of capillary breakup rheometry is described, along with case studies and equipment available to make these measurements.

The Basics of Filament Stretching Rheometry The kinematics and basic theory of extensional rheometry is described, along with a typical experiment setup used for measurements of extensional rheometry.

Swelling Measurements of Crosslinked Polymers We describe the theory and experimental technique of swelling measurements to determine the network parameters of crosslinked polymers.

Yield Stress Measurements in Polymer Solutions and Melts Various techniques to measure yield stress using conventional shear rheometry are discussed and compared.

Small Amplitude Oscillatory Rheometry This note describes the technique and use of small amplitude oscillatory rheometry to measure viscometric properties of polymer solutions and melts, including dynamic modulus, relaxation time, linear viscoelastic regime, and dynamic viscosity.

FTIR Analysis of Crosslinked Polyethylene A discussion of the use of Fourier-transform infra-red spectroscopy to measure the concentration of a chemical structure that is generated during the irradiation of polyethylene. This technique indicates the uniformity of radiation dose and absolute absorbed radiation in ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene.

Determination of the Kinetics of Curing of Cyanoacrylate-based Adhesives with Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy This application note discusses the use of FTIR to monitor the curing kinetics of cyanoacrylate adhesives.