Polymer Properties for Compound Formulation: Determining Polymers That Lead to Successful Products


The polymer used in a compound recipe is critical to compound processing behavior and final product performance, yet polymer characterization is an under-utilized technique in the rubber industry. Traditionally, the rheological behavior of the raw polymer is characterized using Mooney viscosity, which provides limited information. The Rubber Process Analyzer (RPA) can better characterize the viscoelastic behavior of polymers, specifically providing insight into the average molecular weight, molecular weight distribution, and presence of branching. These key polymer characteristics are critical to the mixing, processing, and final performance of a rubber compound. Complete characterization of a polymer early in the process can prevent costly processing issues downstream, minimize variability, and reduce scrap.

About the Speaker

Sarah Cotts is an Applications Engineer at TA Instruments in the US Eastern region. She supports the Rheology, DMA and Rubber testing instruments, working directly with customers across a wide range of industries. She earned a B.Sc. in Chemistry from the College of William and Mary. Prior to joining TA, Sarah worked as an Applications Chemist at Sartomer, developing materials for inks, coatings, adhesives and other industrial applications. She joined TA Instruments in 2013 as part of the Applications Lab.