Abstract

This paper reports on-line monitoring of the density of linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) by near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy and chemometrics. The on-line monitoring was carried out not only in a laboratory but also in a real plant. We composed an on-line monitoring system for molten polymers consisting of a Fourier transform near-infrared (FT-NIR) spectrometer, input/output (I/O) module, a personal computer, and a sampling cell that we developed. We first compared NIR spectra of LLDPE in the solid and melt states and then developed calibration models that predict the density using partial least squares regression (PLS). The sample sets for developing prediction models were collected for three months at the plant, and the density of LLDPE was continuously monitored on-line for another three months using the model. The standard error of prediction (SEP) for the on-line monitoring of the density of LLDPE at the plant was ±2.1 mg/cm<sup>3</sup> (range: 0.91-0.95 g/cm<sup>3</sup>).

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