Separation of blends of styrene-butadiene rubber and butyl rubber was accomplished by gradient HPLC. Using a polar stationary phase and chloroformcyclohexane as eluent, the blends were separated with regard to chemical composition, irrespective of the molar masses of the components. The exact chemical structure of the blend components was analysed by coupling the chromatographic separation to FTIR detection. FTIR spectra of the components reveal information on styrene and butadiene contents and the conformation of the butadiene units (1,2-, 1,4-cis and 1,4-trans units). Complete separation of the blends with respect to chemical composition and molar mass was achieved by two-dimensional liquid chromatography. Combining gradient HPLC and size exclusion chromatography in a fully automated 2D chromatography set-up, the complex distributions of chemical composition and molar mass were fingerprinted simultaneously.
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