Abstract

We evaluate the contribution made by multivariate curve resolution–alternating least squares (MCR-ALS) for resolving gel permeation chromatography–Fourier transform infrared (GPC-FT-IR) data collected on butadiene rubber (BR) and styrene butadiene rubber (SBR) blends in order to access in-depth knowledge of polymers along the molecular weight distribution (MWD). In the BR–SBR case, individual polymers differ in chemical composition but share almost the same MWD. Principal component analysis (PCA) gives a general overview of the data structure and attests to the feasibility of modeling blends as a binary system. MCR-ALS is then performed. It allows resolving the chromatographic coelution and validates the chosen methodology. For SBR–SBR blends, the problem is more challenging since the individual elastomers present the same chemical composition. Rank deficiency is detected from the PCA data structure analysis. MCR-ALS is thus performed on column-wise augmented matrices. It brings very useful insight into the composition of the analyzed blends. In particular, a weak change in the composition of individual SBR in the MWD's lowest mass region is revealed.

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