Chromatographic methods

Some destructive analytical tests are necessary to fully characterise the plastics. Pyrolysis gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (Py-GCMS) analysis was applied to cover and evaluate the broad spectrum of possibilities that are offered to museum staff, scientists or conservators.

Pyrolysis alone is a useful and rapid procedure for subsequent gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GCMS) analysis of the organic fraction present in polymer based objects. Its principal advantages are the small sample sizes required for analysis and the possibility of simultaneously characterising different classes of organic and some inorganic components. It helps to complete the characterisation of many additives. Other analytical techniques are also evaluated such as Evolved Gas Analysis.