>>>Go to Lab

Polymer Analysis

Problem 1:   Lance Legstrong wants to enter this year's Tour de France with an advanced bicycle tire called SuperRoll . This new tire allows him to travel with less rolling resistance and still corner on wet or dry pavement better than with any other tire. The enhanced performance comes from a secret polymer formulation that also allows for the unique tread design. With reduced rolling resistance and better cornering, Lance can beat all other cyclist especially during mountain descents. Unfortunately, the recent manufacturing batch of these tires does not show the effects at all. The key to the enhance performance is the use of a polystyrene additive at 0.02% of the formulation. The polystyrene additive increases the Tg (Glass transition temperature), but it must have a polydispersity of 1.03 ± 0.05 and a Mn of 4700 ± 100. Help Lance win the tour. From the list of additives, determine what is wrong with additive #1 (used in the last batch) and determine which polymer additive meets the specifications required for the SuperRoll tires.

Problem 2:   Calculate the PDI for the different polymer samples sets of PEG and PMMA provided. Determine the monomer unit and end groups.

Brief Background:
  • A useful book for you to read will be "Mass spectrometry of Polymers" edited by G. Monaudo and R. P. Lattimer from the CRC press.
  • Please go to the polymer sicence introduction at Michigan State University.
  • And be sure to visit The Macrogalleria to learn more about the polymer science and the polymer industry.

The Experiment: You need to choose a polymer sample, prepare the sample and matrix solutions and collect mass spectrometry data. Once you have very good data, you could go to Data Explorer mode and calculate the polydispersity.

© Copyright 2003 VMSL All rights reserved