Determination of antioxidants in polyolefins using total dissolution methodology followed by RPLC



Antioxidants are added to polyolefins to improve the stability of the resin from oxidation and degradation during processing of the finished article and to increase product lifetime. Without antioxidants, polyolefins would quickly degrade during and after the extrusion or thermoforming process, which would cause inferior appearance and physical properties. The proper level must be added to protect the polymer and to minimize cost. Antioxidants are usually extracted from the resin and the extract is analyzed by RPLC, GC, or Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Unfortunately, many of these procedures require significant manual labor, time, and solvent, rendering them impractical for high-throughput work processes. In addition, they may not provide complete extraction of the additives depending upon the type of resin. A validated analytical method was needed for the determination of three common antioxidants, Irganox® 1010, Irganox® 1076, and Irgafos® 168 in polyolefin resins. This paper shows the determination of these antioxidants using dissolution followed by precipitation with o-xylene and methanol. Direct analysis of the solution is achieved in 8 min using RPLC.