Pyrolysis Gas Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry

(Pyrolysis GC-MS)

Composition of elastomers and detection of ingredients

Significance and Test Procedure

Pyrolysis gas chromatography with mass spectrometry coupling (GC-MS) allows a deeper insight into the elastomer composition. It is an analytical method that can be used to characterise almost all materials, whether solid or liquid, on very small sample quantities beginning at 30 µg, without prior sample preparation.

It provides information about the type of plastics, the composition of materials, the additives or foreign substances contained. The detection limit of the pyrolysis GC-MS is extremely low, between 10-10 g. Therefore, even the smallest sample quantities are sufficient to detect even traces of substances. The range of application of pyrolysis GC-MS begins, so to speak, where IR analysis ends.

Special Type

In some cases, the double-shot technique is used for pyrolysis. In the double-shot technique, pyrolysis is preceded by thermodesorption, so that the volatile and the high-boiling polymer components are analysed separately.

Significance of Pyrolysis GC-MS for Application Technology

Pyrolysis GC-MS is used less for quality assurance and more for failure analysis. It allows, for example, to analyse diffused foreign substances in elastomers and thus to make reliable statements about possible chemical attack.

This analytical method has also gained increasing importance for the detection of substances that are classified as harmful to health or the environment.


You will find more detailed information on pyrolysis GC-MS in our examples and technical reports:

In the DICHT! special edition O-Ring Prüflabor Richter you will find a comprehensive overview of common tests and analysis methods in elastomer technology. Discover the collected knowledge about elastomer testing in this issue.