Standard Active Last Updated: Dec 27, 2016
ASTM D6042-09(2016)

Standard Test Method for Determination of Phenolic Antioxidants and Erucamide Slip Additives in Polypropylene Homopolymer Formulations Using Liquid Chromatography (LC)

Significance and Use

5.1 Separation and identification of stabilizers used in the manufacture of polypropylene is necessary in order to correlate performance properties with polymer composition. This test method provides a means to determine erucamide slip, Vitamin E, Irgafos 168, Irganox 3114, Irganox 1010, and Irganox 1076 levels in polypropylene samples. This test method is also applicable for the determination of other antioxidants, such as Ultranox 626, Ethanox 330, Santanox R, and BHT, but the applicability of this test method has not been investigated for these antioxidants.

5.2 The additive-extraction procedure is made effective by the insolubility of the polymer sample in solvents generally used for liquid chromatographic analysis.

5.3 Under optimum conditions, the lowest level of detection for a phenolic antioxidant is approximately 2 ppm.

Note 2: Other methods that have been used successfully to remove additives from the plastics matrix include thin film, microwave, ultrasonic, and supercritical fluid extractions. Other methods have been used successfully to separate additives including SFC and capillary GC.

5.4 Irgafos 168 is a phosphite antioxidant. Phosphites are known to undergo both oxidation and hydrolysis reactions. Less Irgafos 168 will be determined in the polymer when oxidation occurs during processing. The HPLC separation is capable of separating the phosphite, phosphate (oxidation product), and hydrolysis product and quantify them if standards are obtained. No significant breakdown of the phosphite antioxidant has been seen due to either extraction technique or the separation presented in this standard.


1.1 This test method covers a liquid-chromatographic procedure for the separation of some additives currently used in polypropylene. These additives are extracted with a cyclohexane:methylene chloride mixture using either reflux or ultrasonic bath prior to liquid-chromatographic separation. The ultraviolet absorbance (200 nm) of the compound(s) is measured, and quantitation is performed using the internal standard method.

1.2 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 precautionary statements are given in Section 9.

Note 1: There is no known ISO equivalent to this test method.

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Book of Standards Volume: 08.03
Developed by Subcommittee: D20.70
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.1520/D6042-09R16
ICS Code: 83.080.20