In addition to conventional matching techniques, Mass Spec Analytical Ltd has pioneered a powerful new technique; Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) to provide a link between plastic samples from the same batch, even when there is no physical fit. Mass Spec is the only company in the UK accredited to provide this service.
By looking at the atoms that go into making up plastic materials, (such as carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen or oxygen), Mass Spec is able to create an isotopic fingerprint of a sample. Samples taken from the same source will have the same isotopic fingerprint.
Mass Spec can perform classification by chemical composition (using infra-red spectroscopy) and physical dimensions to assess similarities. The IRMS method works with almost any shape of plastic.
Applications include testing plastics provenance (does the sample come from the same manufacturer/batch; is it counterfeit), analysis of formulation variation and matching.
Nearly all types of plastics can be recycled. However the extent to which they are recycled depends upon technical, economic and logistical factors. Mass Spec can detect the consistency of plastics prior to manufacture to detect blended or recycled pellets.
Mass Spec team of experts is able to provide testimony on the comparison and matching of plastic, tape and packaging materials and comment on evidence presented by other laboratories.