Blooming on Polymers

Discolourations on polymers are often caused by phase separation of the material's components. This phenomenon is often referred to as polymer blooming and is caused by incompatibilities of the used additives with the polymer or other ingredients.  Figure 1 shows an optical microscope image of crystalline blooming on Polypropylene (PP), that needed to be analysed with Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). For a definite identification of the crystal components, the chemical composition of the surface was recorded in imaging mode. Figure 2 shows the presence of lithium stearate (blue) and in the region of the crystal the stabiliser Ultranox 626 (green) on the base polymer (PP, red). The image on the right side presents data of a blooming region analysed by means of optoical profilometry. The crystalline needle structure is clearly observable. In addition a hight of up to 8 µm of the enriched additive material can be determined.

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