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VDA 278 is widely used within the automotive industry for assessing emissions of organic chemicals from small samples of car trim.

What does VDA 278 involve?

Sampling in accordance with VDA 278 is carried out by direct desorption, which involves placing a specified mass of the material directly into an empty glass thermal desorption tube. Two separate tests are then carried out:

  • ‘VOC’ analysis: This is used to determine volatile organic compounds with volatilities up to n-C25.
  • ‘FOG’ analysis: This uses a higher-temperature desorption step, and is used to determine semi-volatile ‘fogging’ compounds, with volatilities from n-C14 to n-C32.

Complying with VDA 278

Although the process of direct desorption is technically simple because it completely avoids the need for sample preparation, complying with the method requirements can be challenging because of the precise stipulations of the method with regard to pre-desorption check, analytical conditions and reporting of results.

However, Markes’ analysts have prepared two documents that help the analyst in execution of VDA 278, and simplify some of the technical aspects of running the method on Markes’ TD100-xr thermal desorber.

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