About Filler Content Testing

Filler material can provide important characteristics to a product.  For example, titanium dioxide is commonly added to polymers as a white pigment and for its UV stabilization properties.  Furthermore, too much or too little filler can cause the product to fail and cost a manufacturer a lot of money.  Understanding the filler content of a polymer is necessary to ensure the polymer, and products, perform correctly.

  • Approaches

    Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA) is the most common technique for determining the quantity of a filler within a polymer. The product is placed on a balance inside of a furnace and heated to burn away all of the organic material, until the filler content is all that remains. The TGA provides a percentage of mass that remains from the initial amount of material tested. Additionally, a muffle furnace can be used to determine the ash content (filler) as well.

    Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS) can further analyze the residue that is left over from the TGA analysis. The SEM image can provide valuable information about the shape, as shape can often help identify certain fillers. The EDS can then provide elemental mapping of the sample area to identify the filler or fillers used in the polymer product. 

  • Sample Considerations

    If the SEM/EDS is used the sample needs to be a solid material, not a liquid or gas. Non conductive samples will be sputter coated with gold to prevent electronic charging.

    The TGA can accomodate samples that are liquid or solid.  More than 50 milligrams of material should be submitted for testing.

    Contact us to talk through your specific sample considerations and Filler Content Analysis needs.

  • Experience

    Work We've Done:

    • Mass % of filler content
    • Identification of filler content

    Products We’ve Tested:

    • Raw Materials
    • Resins
    • Pellets
    • Medical Devices
    • Many Consumer Products
    • Recycled materials