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The fingerprint of plastics: SKZ offers several methods for material identification

The SKZ Plastics Center in Würzburg, Germany, is seeing an increasing demand for material identification in connection with the use of recyclates and the exchange of material formulations. DIN SPEC 91446, a procedure for classifying recyclates according to data depth using so-called quality levels (DQL), is increasingly being taken into account. This approach allows the evaluation of recyclates on the basis of available data and promotes the comparability of materials.

November 15, 2023

Sustainability and the use of recycled materials are becoming increasingly important in the plastics industry. SKZ offers various methods for material identification. (Photo: digitalstock -

Goal: Improve the quality and sustainability of plastic products - demand is growing 

Material identification is a critical step in ensuring that the desired material has been used in production and that the material specification has been met. SKZ offers several methods for material identification, including

Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy: This method allows materials to be identified based on their characteristic absorption bands in the infrared spectrum. Fillers such as talc, chalk or flame retardants can also be identified.

Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC): This method looks at the thermal behavior of materials and identifies characteristic temperatures such as glass transition temperature or melting temperature.

Thermogravimetry (TGA): TGA analyzes the change in mass of a sample as a function of temperature or time.  This method can be used to study decomposition behavior, for example, or to determine the amount of plasticizers, carbon black, chalk, glass fibers, or other fillers.

Single methods or combinations of methods possible
In addition to these methods, SKZ offers a wide range of material testing, including the determination of density, hardness, melt mass flow rate, mechanical properties, softening temperature and many more. Depending on individual requirements and questions, single methods or meaningful combinations of methods can be used.

"Accurate identification is critical"
Alexander Ebenbeck, SKZ's sales manager for testing, monitoring and certification, emphasized the importance of material identification: "At a time when sustainability and the use of recyclates are becoming increasingly important in the plastics sector, accurate material identification is crucial. Our services offer companies the opportunity to ensure that their materials meet the desired requirements and help improve the quality and sustainability of plastic products".

Companies and organizations interested in learning more about recyclate material identification and SKZ's services can contact SKZ directly.

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Contact Person:

Martina Schubert
Project Manager | Special Services and Expert Reports

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