Concentration Profile Measurements in Polymeric Coatings During Drying by Means of Inverse-Micro-Raman-Spectroscopy

The Raman spectra in different layers of a solvent borne polymer coating during drying

In order to obtain quantitative solvent content data, calibration measurements are needed. A calibration can be easily performed by acquiring Raman spectra of a calibration set of samples prepared with different but known concentrations in sealed optical cells.

There are many important industrial applications for solvent and waterborne coatings such as foils for LCD panels, varnishes, adhesives, paper coatings and even bio-medical applications such as transdermal patches. Coatings on these products and devices are often formed from dissolved coating components that are applied to the substrate material and then subsequently dried to create the desired end material.

The drying process of the coating often determines the performance and quality of the resulting product. In order to design and control such coating and drying processes, online moisture and solvent profile measurements during the coating formation become of significant interest.

The University Karlsruhe (TH) has applied a measuring technique called Inverse-Micro-Raman-Spectroscopy (IMRS) to a Confocal Raman Spectrometer (LabRAM INV - HORIBA Jobin Yvon) which was manufactured whereby the standard upright LabRAM microscope was replaced by an Inverted Microscope sampling system (in this case an Olympus IX50).

The preliminary work obtained in this collaboration showed many advantages in the use of Raman spectroscopy for the study of drying characteristics in coating materials.

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