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  • 1 Korea Institute of Geology, Mining and Materials Yuseong P.O.Box 111 Science Town, Taejon Korea
  • | 2 Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute Yuseong P.O.Box 105 Science Town, Taejon Korea
  • | 3 Chungnam National University Department of Chemistry 220 Gung-dong 205-746 Yusong-gu, Taejon Korea
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Neutron activation analysis (NAA) has been studied to improve the accuracy and sensitivity of the analysis of trace and ultratrace metallic impurities in plastic materials. There are two main problems in the analysis of plastics by NAA. First the contamination during sample preparation, especially sample crushing procedure is very serious for ultratrace analysis. Another problem is the destruction of the sample capsule due to the pressure build-up by the gases formed during neutron irradiation. A simple preparation technique of the sample crushing method using liquid nitrogen and reducing the capsule pressure by a pin hole was developed to solve the above problems. Two different irradiation and seven cooling conditions were also investigated to optimize the experimental conditions. A SRM from NIST (1632b coal) has been used to investigate the accuracy of the analysis. More than thirty elements could be analyzed in the range of sub-ppb to percent. Samples analyzed in this work were polyethylene and polypropylene which were made by different manufacturing procedure, and pigments. Two kinds of plastic products used for food and drug containers were also analyzed. It was found that NAA could be a powerful technique for the analysis of metallic impurities in plastics even though their concentrations were at ultratrace levels.