Your Manager Asks You to Complete FTIR Testing; What Is It?

An Internet search will inform you that FT-IR means Fourier Transform Infrared. It’s a form of infrared spectroscopy. Simply, this means that infrared radiation is passed through your sample. Some of it will be absorbed by the sample and some passes straight through. This forms a spectrum which shows the molecular make up of both, much like a fingerprint. Like your fingerprint, after FTIR testing, molecular structures are unique which makes it such a great form of analysis.

Why Would You Use FTIR?

There are three main purposes to request and complete FTIR testing. The first is so that you can recognize materials that are previously unknown to you. Second, you will be able to understand the uniformity and quality of your sample. Finally, you will be able to analyse each of the individual components from a combination.

FTIR Is an Old Idea

An old idea doesn’t necessarily mean it is a bad idea and should be replaced, especially when it still works effectively decades after its invention. Because FTIR testing can show you each of the types of material in your sample and the amount of each that is present, it is often used for analysis of an unknown material.

While FTIR testing may have been used for decades, the technology has greatly changed over the years to improve the results required.

How Will Your Sample Be Analysed?

A standard procedure is used to analyse your sample. From the source, a controlled amount of the infrared energy passes through the aperture to the sample. The beam of infrared energy enters an interferometer. This is where the spectral encoding occurs.

The sample allows the beam to pass through it and some of it is reflected from the surface of the material. For its final measurement, the beam passes through the detector which is specially intended to complete an accurate measure of the interferogram signal.

As the signal is digitised computer software analyses the Fourier transformation. A display of the infrared spectrum can then be analysed for expert opinion.

FTIR is a quick method to analyse plastics and other materials. The process takes seconds and is extremely sensitive. With just one moving part, the process is unlikely to suffer from interruption.

Experts suggest that FTIR analysis is extremely accurate is why remains extremely popular to analyse the breakdown of the sample. Nevertheless, the tests and the results should only be carried out by professionals in their field.