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Characterization of PC/ABS

Characterization of PC/ABS

Characterization of PC/ABS

Dear All,

Would anyone know how to identify PC/ABS blend? I have tried to use FT-IR, but it only give me the PC spectrum. Any other methods to identify it? Furthermore, would anyone know how to obtain the ratio of PC and ABS in the PC/ABS blend? Which laboratories can do this in USA or Hong Kong?
Thanks a lot.

RE: Characterization of PC/ABS

You can distinguish PC/ABS by measuring the glass transition temperatures on a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC).  PC/ABS will have two glass transitions (Tg), one at 85-105 deg. C for the ABS and one at 155 deg. C
for the PC.  This method will not be very good for determining PC to ABS ratio.

Another method that will give a qualitative estimate of ABS content is to measure modulus vs. temp using dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA).  The modulus will drop at the glass transition temperatures of ABS and PC.  The plateau modulus of the material at temperatures above the Tg of ABS and below the Tg of PC will be an indicator of PC to ABS ratio.  You would need standards against which to compare.  GE has DMA curves for most of their PC/ABS products on their web site:


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There are numerous peaks in an FTIR spectrum of PC/ABS attributed to butadiene.  Unfortunately, I do not have any reference spectra available to tell you for what peaks to look.  Also, depending on the type of ABS, there can be IR peaks from the high heat additives such as alpha methyl styrene, para methyl styrene or n-phenyl maleimide.  If you are seeing only PC in the IR then possibly you only have PC.

There are numerous labs that can perform DSC and FTIR (or old fashioned diffraction IR), including:

Detroit Testing Laboratory (DSC & FTIR), Warren, Michigan


Constellation Technology Corporation (DMA), Tampa, Florida


RE: Characterization of PC/ABS

A quick and dirty test is to burn it and smell the smoke. The butadiene in the ABS gives a rubbery smell that is not in straight PC
It's best to have a known straight PC and a known PC/ABS alloy sample for comparison

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