Identification of plastics in cultural heritage collections by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
Infrared spectroscopy is the most commonly used analytical technique for identifying polymeric compounds, such as cellulose acetate, cellulose nitrate, polyurethane, Perspex, PVC and nylon in analytical laboratories. Other relevant techniques for identification include Raman spectroscopy (see Analytical Methods Committee, AMCTB No. 67) and pyrolysis gas chromatography mass spectrometry (Py-GCMS). This technical brief focuses on the application of FTIR spectroscopy and outlines the different types of materials commonly found in museum collections. The different types of attachments and techniques, which have been developed to address the various forms of materials and minimise the need for sampling, are also described here.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Analytical Methods Committee Technical Briefs