Spectroscopy technique for detecting water saturation front in polymer

In summary, a grad student in materials science is conducting a research project to measure the velocity of a water saturation front moving through polymers. The goal is to determine the permeability of polymer seals under various conditions. The student plans to subject polymer samples to temperature and pressure in an aging cell and use a characterization technique, such as FTIR and Raman spectroscopy, to detect the presence of water or CO2. However, there are concerns that the techniques may only analyze the surface of the materials. Other suggestions, such as using doppler interferometry, have been made.
  • #1
paulos
3
0
Hello all,

I am a grad student in materials science. As part of a research project, I need to measure/detect the velocity of a water saturation front moving through polymers (a few materials, most fluoro/perfluoropolymers).
The ultimate goal of the project is to determine the permeability of polymer seals operating at temperature and pressure as a function of time. In order to do so, I will subject the polymer samples (o-rings of ~5cm diameter, ~.5cm thickness) to these conditions in an aging cell (a "pressure vessel") for a few days. After a certain time, I would try to characterize how far into the sample water has diffused by sectioning the sample and using some kind of characterization technique.
If water cannot be easily detected, I also have the option of exposing the samples to CO2 and trying to detect that, although water would be preferred.
I have enough funding to use any of the shared facilities here at Stanford but not enough to buy any expensive machines.
Can you think of any characterization technique that could detect water or CO2 in a polymer matrix?

Here are my ideas so far:
Water (and CO2) are IR and Raman active. I can section samples and do FTIR and Raman spectroscopy but the signals are weak for water and these don't usually have any spatial resolution. I can section the sample into different lengths into the sample to detect whether each section has water or not. I also heard that we have a micro Raman instrument with spatial resolution.
I am mostly worried that since these 2 techniques only analyze the surface of materials, all the water (or CO2) will desorb from the surface before I can detect anything.

Any input is appreciated.

Thanks,

Paul
 
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  • #2
I'm sorry you are not generating any responses at the moment. Is there any additional information you can share with us? Any new findings?
 
  • #3

Related to Spectroscopy technique for detecting water saturation front in polymer

1. What is spectroscopy and how does it work for detecting water saturation in polymers?

Spectroscopy is a scientific technique that involves the use of light to study the chemical and physical properties of a material. It works by shining light of various wavelengths onto a sample, and then measuring how the light interacts with the sample. In the case of detecting water saturation in polymers, spectroscopy can be used to measure the absorption or reflection of light by the polymer, which changes depending on the amount of water present in the material.

2. What are the advantages of using spectroscopy for detecting water saturation in polymers?

One of the main advantages of using spectroscopy for this purpose is its non-destructive nature. This means that the sample does not need to be altered or destroyed in any way in order to obtain information about its water saturation. Additionally, spectroscopy is a relatively quick and accurate method, allowing for efficient and precise measurements.

3. What types of spectroscopy are commonly used for detecting water saturation in polymers?

Some of the most commonly used types of spectroscopy for this purpose include infrared (IR) spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. Each of these techniques has its own advantages and limitations, and the choice of which one to use will depend on the specific needs and characteristics of the sample being studied.

4. Can spectroscopy be used to detect water saturation in all types of polymers?

Spectroscopy can be used to detect water saturation in most types of polymers, but the effectiveness may vary depending on the specific properties of the polymer. For example, polymers with high levels of water absorption or those that are highly opaque may present challenges for spectroscopic analysis. It is important to consider the specific characteristics of the polymer when choosing a spectroscopy technique for detecting water saturation.

5. Are there any limitations to using spectroscopy for detecting water saturation in polymers?

While spectroscopy is a powerful tool for detecting water saturation in polymers, there are some limitations to its use. For example, if the sample is not homogeneous or if there are impurities present, this can affect the accuracy of the results. Additionally, some spectroscopy techniques may have difficulty detecting small amounts of water or differentiating between water and other types of liquids present in the polymer.

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