Significant advantages in using data from Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrophotometers instead of conventional prism and grating spectrophotometers for process control measurements have been observed in the research laboratories of the Cryovac Division of W. R. Grace & Co. The advantages center around the ability to quantitate accurately and precisely very low intensity absorbances with the expenditure of significantly less technician time than the older equipment requires. An example of the advantages is illustrated using the measurement of the transvinylene absorbance near 966 cm−1 or 10.35 μm of polyethylene. Use of FTIR spectrophotometers results in a four- to five-fold improvement in precision (reproducibility) and a decrease of 75% in the technician time required to make the measurements. This paper contains the details involved in using the two types of equipment for the above stated measurement and some factors contributing to the advantages obtained by using FTIR.
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