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Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)


Sample FTIR results for failed gasket material (blue and green lines) compared against a published spectrum for the material specification (red) demonstrating that the gasket was made out of the specified material.
How Does It Work?
When materials are illuminated in infrared light, some of the light at given wavelengths is absorbed. The wavelengths that are absorbed depend on the elements and chemical compounds or molecules present in the material. Collecting data across the entire range of wavelengths the material is exposed to produces the absorption spectrum. This spectrum is then compared to the spectrums of known samples in databases or of known materials in order to determine what species are present. Analysis of the spectrum relies on some amount of prior knowledge of the material being analyzed as there are an extremely large number of compounds that can be detected by FTIR, and many of those compounds have spectra that will overlap in places.
When should it be used?

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