Standard Historical Last Updated: Dec 18, 2019
ASTM D6474-12

Standard Test Method for Determining Molecular Weight Distribution and Molecular Weight Averages of Polyolefins by High Temperature Gel Permeation Chromatography

Significance and Use

5.1 This test method measures the molecular weight distribution and molecular weight averages of polyethylene (except LDPE) and polypropylene resins. Differences in molecular weight and molecular weight distribution significantly affect physical properties, such as morphology, strength, melt flow etc., and as a result, the final properties of products made from these resins.


1.1 This test method covers the determination of molecular weight distributions and molecular weight averages of linear polyolefins by high temperature gel permeation chromatography (GPC). This test method uses commercially available polystyrene standards and equipment and is applicable to polyethylenes (excluding high pressure low density polyethylene–LDPE) and polypropylenes soluble in 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene (TCB) at 140°C. This test method is not absolute and requires calibration.

Note 1Size exclusion chromatography (SEC) often is used as an alternative name for gel permeation chromatography (GPC).
Note 2Specific methods and capabilities of users may vary with differences in columns, instrumentation, applications software, and practices between laboratories.
Note 3One general method is outlined herein; alternative analytical practices can be followed and are attached in notes where appropriate.
Note 4There is no known ISO equivalent to this standard.

1.2 The values stated in SI units, based on IEEE/ASTM S1-10, 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.

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Book of Standards Volume: 08.03
Developed by Subcommittee: D20.70
Pages: 6
DOI: 10.1520/D6474-12
ICS Code: 83.080.20