Optical Properties of Polymers

Testing for the optical properties of polymers includes analysis of gloss, haze, clarity, colour, transparency, refractive index and more is important for more than just aesthetic reasons. These are evidently important in terms of consumers’ perception of the quality and visual performance of a product. However, where they affect the overall performance of that product, they might unnecessarily limit its useful lifespan, even while it is still functionally intact. Not only do the physical characteristics of a polymer affect its optical properties. Also, the processes to which it is subjected during production, such as temperature, mechanical and chemical factors, can alter a polymer’s optical properties. In order to ensure that products maintain their ‘new look’ from factory to end user and beyond, it is important to analyse production processes and optimise them where necessary. Optical properties of polymers testing covers chemical, thermal, physical and mechanical testing with a view to getting the best result possible from the materials used. Optical properties of polymers are important to manufacturers and producers of consumer goods such as the automotive industry.