An excellent method for the analysis and characterisation of polymers is pyrolysis gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. Polymers can be made accessible to gas chromatographic analysis after they have been subjected to pyrolysis, for example. A usually complex mixture of volatile components can then be separated and identified by means of a mass spectrometer.
Py-GC / MS is preferably used when routine methods such as infrared spectroscopy reach their limits. The high selectivity and sensitivity of GC/MS is particularly useful for plastic mixtures with low proportions of individual polymer components or a low starting monomer proportion in the copolymer or in the presence of additives such as flame retardants or oxidation stabilisers.