Ion chromatography to determine the content of anions and cations

Ion chromatography can be used to determine salts in materials, e.g. as assessment criterium for the substrate when selecting materials for further coatings such as plaster or paint. Salts which damage buildings such as nitrate, sulphate and chloride dissolve easily in water. Via weathering, they can be transported into building materials, where they can cause damage or further moisture penetration because of their hygroscopic behaviour.

Additionally, the chromate content in cement-based systems such as e.g. tile adhesives or plasters can be measured by ion chromatography. These building materials must be free from chromate because chromium (VI) compounds can cause skin diseases.

Furthermore, the quantitative determination of anions and certain cations in paints and varnishes can be used for pigment Analysis.

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Qualitative and quantitative analysis of preservatives by means of HPLC

RMI has several liquid chromatography (HPLC) machines with UV detection, one of which is also equipped with a triple quadruple mass spectrometer. HPLC can be used, e.g., to provide qualitative and quantitative evidence of preservatives and formaldehyde in wet coating materials, dry coating films, eluates and water samples. To test that paints designed for allergic individuals are free from preservatives, in-can preservatives such as isothiazolinones can be detected in traces down to 0.1 ppm. RMI has been involved in several research projects in recent years to determine the release of substances from façade coatings into the environment via contact with dew and driving rain. The European Standard EN 16105 was established as the laboratory method in this respect. State-of-the-art trace analysis is used for water samples from outdoor exposure or laboratory immersion tests. The water samples, known as eluates, can be enhanced via solid phase extraction prior to analysis. The sensitive triple quadruple mass spectrometer achieves a high degree of accuracy, low LOQ’s with direct injection without sample enrichment and an unambiguous identification of substances in water and paint samples. The LC/MS-MS technique even allows concentrations of less than 0.1 µg/L  of a substance to be detected in samples, without prior enhancement.

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