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Key Corporate Milestones

Following is presented the evolution of Polymer Char’s history highlighting in descending order several key corporate milestones:

Year Description


Polymer Char celebrates its 25 Year Anniversary fostering a spirit of commitment to Excellence and Creative Thinking as it projects new developments and stronger relationships with its customers.


Launch of the Solvent Handling Trolley (SHT):
The SHT is the second accessory in the LabAID group to be realeased. This trolley is easy to operate but very useful for moving around the laboratory with large volumes of solvent with convenience and safety. It collects, empties and refills solvent to the instruments without doing the heavy lifting or being exposed to dangerous vapors.


Introduction of LabAID, accessories for the laboratory:
Polymer Char culminates its portfolio of solutions with the creation of a line of accessories specifically designed to facilitate the routine tasks frequently performed in polyolefin characterization laboratories. The first LabAID accessory is an External Filtration System, EFS, a small device that automatically removes carbon black and other small-particle size residues from samples before they are analyzed.


QC portfolio expanded: CRYSTEX 42, IVA and GPC-QC introduction:
IIdentifying the need for reliable and automated methods for quality control in production plants and laboratories, Polymer Char adds three more instruments to its Quality Control product family. First is CRYSTEX 42, following a similar approach as the previously launched CRYSTEX QC, this equipment is designed for large batches of samples that are usually required in laboratories of production plants. The second was the Intrinsic Viscosity Analyzer (IVA), intended to determine the viscosity of polymeric materials that require high temperature for dissolution. And last was GPC-QC, is a simplified and fully-automated GPC instrument purposefully created for control laboratories in polyolefin production plants.


New HT-HPLC Portfolio: TGIC and SGIC 2D:
Polymer Char arrives to global agreement with The Dow Chemical Company, as the unique authorized licensee to provide instrumentation based on Thermal Gradient Interaction Chromatography (TGIC) and Two Dimensional Solvent Gradient Interaction Chromatography (SGIC 2D), using carbon-based packings as covered by Dow’s patent.


CRYSTEX QC launch for PP/EP Manufacturing QC Labs:
Polymer Char expands its portfolio with new equipments aimed at quality control, with a high-throughput equipment specially designed for the analysis of the intrinsic viscosity and an instrument dedicated to measure xylene solubles in PP (CRYSTEX QC).

New PREP C20 instrument:
Polymer Char R&D team develops PREP C20, a new Column-based Preparative Fractionation system, capable to fractionate up to 20 grams of polymer. Initially designed for Polymer Char Analytical Services business unit, it later became a commercial equipment as well.

Crystallization Elution Fractionation Patent:
Dr. Benjamin Monrabal, Polymer Char R&D Director, patents the Method for separating and purifying Crystallisable Organic Compounds, that significantly improves high-throughput analysis of the Chemical Composition Distribution in Polyolefins by Crystallization Elution Fractionation (CEF).


VAR Partnership Agreement with Agilent Technologies:
Polymer Char enters into a Value-Added Reseller (VAR) Partnership Agreement with Agilent Technologies, the global leader measurement company. Polymer Char, has been incorporating Agilent equipments for almost two decades in its final Polyolefin Analysis solutions, to ensure the highest instrument performance and reliability.


New Corporate Brand:
The Company renews its Corporate Brand, now aligned with its values and mission, in order to become a leader in Polymer Characterization industry.

GPC-IR recognition:
GPC-IR is recognized by C&EN Magazine (Chemical & Engineering News) of the ACS (American Chemical Society) as 1 of the 10 New and Notable Molecular Spectroscopy Instruments at Pittcon 2010, in 5th position.

Wallace W. Yau as GPC Scientific Advisor:
Polymer Char R&D team has the pleasure of welcoming Dr. Wallace W. Yau as a Scientific Advisor. Since then, Dr. Yau, the most recognized scientist in GPC, has been contributing significantly on the improvement of Polymer Char’s technology.


Innovation Award:
Polymer Char is awarded by the Government Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Valencian Community and the Official Chambers of Commerce and Industry, as one of the 50 Successful Companies in Innovation in the region.

New Products: GPC One Software and Data Unit 200.
GPC One Software was developed with the leaders in High Temperature GPC / SEC technology.


New Headquarters
Polymer Char boasts new Headquarters, a 20.000 square foot state-of-the-art complex, which includes Corporate Offices, Manufacturing facilities, and one of the most modern Polyolefin laboratories worldwide.


GPC-IR gets into the market, representing a new generation of previous High Temperature GPC/SEC instruments:
GPC-IR was designed to respond to the features that were being demanded by Polyolefin GPC Users, such as a separate column oven compartment, automated in-line filtration, no solvent handling, a comprehensive data processing Software, Triple Detector (Composition, Viscometer, Light Scattering) + Chemical Composition Sensor (Infrared).

New CFC instrument:
CFC (Cross Fractionation Chromatography) instrument is developed according to the request received by an important Japanese petrochemical company.
Cross-fractionation technique had become very popular in Japan during the last 10 years, even more than GPC or TREF in some cases. Polymer Char, in close collaboration with them, developed a renewed, benchtop and fully automated instrument to perform TREF+GPC in a single process and therefore to obtain the bivariate distribution in 3 dimensions plots.

New CEF instrument:
CEF technique and instrument started being developed in 2005 and began its patent processes in 2006. It is based on a new crystallization concept to obtain the Chemical Composition Distribution in polyolefins, obtained by TREF and CRYSTAF too. CEF technique allows the User to obtain the same results than Polymer Char TREF in 10 times shorter time; sample results every half an hour. Therefore, CEF instrument is provided with a 70 samples autosampler to run all of them with no supervision required in less than 2 days.

New IR5 MCT instrument:
IR5 MCT is developed with the need of a higher sensitivity to measure the Short Chain Branching content for High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). Polymer Char takes advantage of its deep experience on infrared technology to develop this new detector by using a very sensitive MCT sensor thermoelectrically cooled, therefore, IR5 MCT can provide the highest sensitivity (capable of distinguishing differences of 1 branch per 1000C) without liquid nitrogen.


Development of a CRYSTAF with Autosampler in collaboration with Dow Plastics R&D:
‘Autosampler CRYSTAF recognition presented to Polymer Char in Appreciation of its Contributions in developing High-throughput Characterization Technology for DOW Plastics R&D’, by The Dow Chemical Company.

Technology Award by the Polytechnic University of Valencia.

Foundation of the International Conference on Polyolefin Characterization (ICPC):

Dr. Monrabal together with Dr. Colin Li Pi Shan, from The Dow Chemical Company and Prof. João Soares, from the Institute for Polymer Research of the University of Waterloo; founds the International Conference on Polyolefin Characterization (ICPC).

Having been favorably held the first edition in Houston in 2006, next editions held in Valencia in 2008 and Shanghai in 2010 were also successfully, where Prof. Minoru Terano, from the Japan Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST), and Prof. Dujin Wang, from the Institute of Chemistry of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ICCAS), joined in the Committee in the respective editions.

The ICPC Conference, organized by Polymer Char, represents nowadays the meeting-point par excellence for Polyolefin Characterization experts all over the world.


Technology Award by the Polytechnic University of Valencia.


Technology Award by the Polytechnic University of Valencia.


Chapter ‘Temperature Rising Elution Fractionation and Crystallization Analysis Fractionation’ by Dr. Monrabal in the Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry (R.A. Meyers (Ed.) Ó John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, 2000).

CRYSTAF-TREF combined instrument launch:

TREF technique had been developed as the traditional way to obtain the Chemical Composition Distribution manually. In 1999, Polymer Char started a significant research on its own TREF columns to provide good separation resolution by reducing the traditional analysis time.

At the same time, taking advantage of its experience of having already developed automated instruments like CRYSTAF, CRYSTEX or PREP mc2, they designed the first fully automated TREF instrument with neither manpower nor solvents handling. That fact in combination with the TREF columns development resulted in a powerful instrument capable of analyzing a sample every 5 hours with no solvents handling.

TREF became a commercial instrument that year, but during the same year, the combined CRYSTAF-TREF instrument was launched, providing the users with two techniques in the same instrument and so being able to have complementary information on the CCD in some complex resins showing to have more affinity to one technique or to the other.

First instrument sold in South America to a Petrochemical Company in Brazil.


Development of CRYSTEX instrument:
CRYSTEX was developed in collaboration with the French Polyolefin Characterization Group of an important international petrochemical company to automate, and as a result to enhance the accuracy of one of the most known and tedious manual techniques in a Polypropylene characterization laboratory or Quality Control laboratory; the Xylene Solubles measurement. This technique demands the use of Xylene and requires full dedication of an analyst to obtain the results of one sample per day. CRYSTEX does not use Xylene, fully automates the whole process and can obtain the Xylene Solubles results in 4 hours per 3 samples.

IR4 stand-alone launch:
IR4 had been the infrared detector developed specifically for polyolefins as OEM version to be incorporated into the CRYSTAF 100 instrument. Then, in 1999, IR4 stand-alone was launched and nowadays it is well-known both for its use as a concentration and/or composition detector in high temperature HPLC techniques like Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC / GPC) for polyolefins and as for its excellent baseline and stability versus the refractive index detectors, traditionally used in GPC instruments.


Development of a new instrument, PREP mc2, in collaboration with the Polyolefin Characterization Group of a worldwide leading Petrochemical Company:
PREP mc2 is capable of fractionating polymers by molar mass and by composition (TREF or CRYSTAF) without hot solvents handling. Traditionally, polymer fractionation had been done by means of manual procedures which required days or weeks time per sample and the handling of hot solvents every time. PREP mc2 provided the analysts an automated tool to fractionate polymers which saves their time and reduces the manpower significantly.

Development of TREF instrument and IR4 Detector.


First CRYSTAF 100 unit provided to a well known Petrochemical Company in South Korea.


CRYSTAF prototype Official Presentation at the Pittsburgh Conference in Chicago, IL:
CRYSTAF 100 was developed to obtain the Chemical Characterization Distribution by using a single temperature cycle (crystallization) instead of two cycles (crystallization and elution), which had been used traditionally by TREF technique. In addition, CRYSTAF instrument was developed in a fully automated way controlled by Virtual Instrumentation software developed on that purpose, so neither manpower nor solvents handling were required by the analyst. Therefore, CRYSTAF100 model meant a significant advance in the polyolefin characterization field by saving time and reducing manpower.


IR Technology Transfer.
Initiated a technology transfer of Infrared Detection from a Optoelectronic Research Institute from Scandinavia.


Company establishment.
The Company is founded by Dr. Benjamin Monrabal with the initial objective of developing the CRYSTAF technology, which was patented years before by Dr. Monrabal at The Dow Chemical Company in The Netherlands.

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