Synthetic polymers, like plastic fibers, often contain low levels of residual monomer. Monomers are typically reactive and toxic, especially compared with the properties of synthetic fibers. The presence of residual monomer can affect the odor of the product as well as the mechanical properties. Analysis of residual monomers can be used to assess the likely building blocks of the polymer. The residual monomer content also indicates the effectiveness of the polymerization reaction, and purification steps. Residual monomer analysis is commonly performed by Polymer Solutions Incorporated for evaluating polymers at every stage of their life-cycles. Liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy are some of the methods we use for that determination. In this case study, the NMR spectroscopy method is described.
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