Home Analyses & equipment Davenport density gradient column | Measure the density of polymer

Davenport density gradient column

With our density gradient columns it is possible to measure the density of a polymeric sample. The principle of a Davenport density column is simple and accurate: two different organic “solvents” with different densities are mixed in such a way that a density profile over the height of the column is obtained. By applying floaters with a predefined density to the column a calibration curve can be prepared. Polymeric samples with unkown densities can now be measured.

The use of the right “solvents” is essential for a good measurement. The polymeric sample shouldn’t dissolve or swell in the “solvents”. So, infact we need non-solvents for the specific polymeric samples. Next to that a combination of “solvents” should be found with different densities and good miscibility in a specific density range. We can measure the following polymeric samples (pellets, yarns, etc).


Material Density range
PET 1289 - 1370 and 1330 - 1420 and 1360 - 1450 
Polyamide 1030 - 1150 and 1130 - 1175 
Polyacrylonitrile 1140 - 1280
Aramid 1415 - 1480 
Carbon fiber 1500 - 2500
Cellulose 1440 - 1560

The preparation of a Davenport density column is laborious and time consuming. Thereafter the column can be used for several weeks to months depending on the intensity of use. After a certain time period the gradient is disturbed and a new column has to be prepared.

Semi-crystalline materials can quenched in liquid nitrogen in order to measure the amorphous density of a material.





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