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Identifying plastics

The PolyAna

The PolyAna plastics identification device - developed by the University of Southampton - is based on a redesigned spectrometer.

The beam of light is directed outside the spectrometer. The operator puts a nozzle at the front of the unit against an unidentified plastic object, which is hit by a measuring beam. A computer then automatically analyses the resulting spectrum, comparing it with over 150 spectra in its memory and identifying the plastic, any fillers and any mixers. The software gives a degree of certainty that the plastic has been identified correctly.

The software can be adapted for applications where only specific materials need to be identified. This makes the identification process quicker. No special skills or training are needed to use PolyAna

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Practical Action - Technology challenging povertyEuropean Commission - Department for International Development

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