Many polymers undergo thermo-oxidative degradation during fabrication processing. Over longer periods of time at ambient temperature polymers also deteriorate in the solid state through auto-oxidation and photo-oxidation. In outdoor applications where the materials are exposed to UV solar radiation, the energy of this radiation is sufficient to initiate photochemical reactions leading to degradation. For example in the absence of stabilisers, many polymer systems such as PP have relatively poor UV stability. Other polymers such as PE, styrenics, polyamides and PUs also benefit from UV stabilisation. The practical consequences of unchecked exposure to UV radiation are discolouration, surface crazing (formation of surface microcracks), embrittlement and loss of mechanical properties (elongation, impact strength and tensile strength). However, the effect of UV exposure can be significantly inhibited through proper selection of UV stabilisers.Over the years plastics have been commonly protected against such deterioration by the addition of a variety of light and heat stabilisers. New polymerisation technologies, interpolymer competition, economics, authorities actions, higher durability requirements, health and safety problems and quality issues are the main driving forces for changes in polymer stabilisation. A Current Awareness service may be just what you need to update your knowledge with ease and accuracy without having to waste time, effort and money finding the information yourself.
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