ASTM D2238 - 92(2012)e1

    Standard Test Methods for Absorbance of Polyethylene Due to Methyl Groups at 1378 cm−1

    Active Standard ASTM D2238 | Developed by Subcommittee: D20.70

    Book of Standards Volume: 08.01


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 When interpreted with the aid of appropriate calibration data, either test method can be used to compare the total methyl contents of polyethylenes made by similar processes. Such information can be interpreted in terms of specific alkyl groups with the aid of data on infrared absorption at certain other wavelengths (3).

    Note 4The bias of determination of the concentration of total alkyl groups depends on knowing the concentrations of methyl and ethyl branches present, since these branches have anomalously high absorptivities per group at 1378 cm−1 (7.25 μm).

    4.2 Knowledge of total methyl groups in polyethylene, when combined with data on molecular weight and on reactive end groups such as vinyl, can lead to assignment of end-group structures and can shed light upon polymerization mechanisms.

    4.3 Data on total methyl groups in polyethylene can be correlated qualitatively with certain polymer properties such as melting point, density, stiffness, and other mechanical properties that are closely dependent on the degree of crystallinity of the polymer.

    4.4 These test methods are especially suitable for research. They have not been tested for use in manufacturing control.

    1. Scope

    1.1 These test methods cover measurement by infrared absorption spectrophotometry of the 1378.4-cm−1 (7.255-μm) band in polyethylene due to methyl groups. (1, 2, 4-7)2 Two test methods are covered:

    1.1.1 Test Method A uses compensation with a standard sample film or wedge of known methyl content.

    1.1.2 Test Method B uses compensation with a wedge of polymethylene or a polyethylene of known low methyl content.

    1.2 These test methods are applicable to polyethylenes of Types I (density 910 to 925 kg/m3), II (density 926 to 940), and III (density 941 to 965).

    Note 1For determination of density, see Specifications D1248.
    Note 2In cases of Type III polyethylene with densities greater than 0.950 g/cm3, different results are obtained with the two test methods.

    1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

    1.4 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. Specific hazards statements are given in Section 7.

    Note 3There is no known ISO equivalent to this standard.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D618 Practice for Conditioning Plastics for Testing

    D1248 Specification for Polyethylene Plastics Extrusion Materials for Wire and Cable

    D1505 Test Method for Density of Plastics by the Density-Gradient Technique

    D1898 Practice for Sampling of Plastics

    E131 Terminology Relating to Molecular Spectroscopy

    E168 Practices for General Techniques of Infrared Quantitative Analysis

    E177 Practice for Use of the Terms Precision and Bias in ASTM Test Methods


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 83.080.20 (Thermoplastic materials)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 13111016(Polyethylene)


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D2238-92R12E01

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D2238-92(2012)e1, Standard Test Methods for Absorbance of Polyethylene Due to Methyl Groups at 1378 cm−1, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2012, www.astm.org

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