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This article addresses some established protocols in characterizing thermoplastics, whether they are homogeneous resins, alloyed or blended compositions, or highly modified thermoplastic composites. It begins with a description of various approaches used for the determination of molecular weight (MW) by viscosity measurements. This is followed by a discussion of the use of cone and plate and parallel plate geometries in determining the viscoelastic properties of a polymer melt. Details on some of the chromatographic techniques that allow determination of MW and MW distribution of polymers are then provided. The article concludes with information on three distinctive, but complementary operations of thermoanalytical techniques, namely differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis, and thermomechanical testing.

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Physical, Chemical, and Thermal Analysis of Thermoplastic Resins, Characterization and Failure Analysis of Plastics, Edited By Steven Lampman, ASM International, 2003, p 105–114,

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