ASTM D7134 - 05(2012)

    Standard Test Method for Molecular Mass Averages and Molecular Mass Distribution of Atactic Polystyrene by Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization (MALDI)-Time of Flight (TOF) Mass Spectrometry (MS)

    Active Standard ASTM D7134 | Developed by Subcommittee: D20.70

    Book of Standards Volume: 08.03


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    Significance and Use

    General UtilityThe molecular mass (MM) and molecular mass distribution (MMD) are fundamental characteristics of a synthetic polymer that result from the polymerization process. The MM and MMD is useful for a wide variety of correlations for fundamental studies, processing and product applications. For example, it is possible to compare the observed MMD to predictions from an assumed kinetic or mechanistic model for the polymerization reaction. Differences between the values will allow alteration of the model or experimental design. Similarly, it is possible the strength, the melt flow rate, and other properties of a polymer are dependent on the MM and MMD. Determination of the MM and MMD are used for quality control of polymers and as specification in the commerce of polymers.

    LimitationsIf the MMD is too wide, it is possible that the assumption of the constancy of the intensity scale calibration is in serious error.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of molecular mass (MM) averages and the distribution of molecular masses for linear atactic polystyrene of narrow molecular mass distribution (MMD) ranging in molecular masses from 2000 g/mol to 35 000 g/mol by matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). This test method is not absolute and requires the use of biopolymers for the calibration of the mass axis. The relative calibration of the intensity axis is assumed to be constant for a narrow MMD. Generally, this is viewed as correct if the measured polydispersity is less than 1.2 for the molecular mass range given above.

    1.2 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard.

    1.3 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.

    Note 1—There 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

    D883 Terminology Relating to Plastics

    D1600 Terminology for Abbreviated Terms Relating to Plastics

    E691 Practice for Conducting an Interlaboratory Study to Determine the Precision of a Test Method


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 83.080.01 (Plastics in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 13102026(Polystyrene PS)


    DOI: 10.1520/D7134-05R12

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