Effects of long-term weathering and angle of exposure on the deterioration of polycarbonate

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Journal titleDurability of Building Materials
Pages327341; # of pages: 15
Subjectweatherability; polycarbonate; windows; photodegradation; crackings (breaking); angle of incidence; windows; plastics; mechanical properties; physical properties; failure mechanisms; causes; weathering; photodegradation; cracking; Plastics
AbstractPolycarbonate sheets with a standard surface finish and with a film-protected surface were weathered outdoors at both a horizontal (0 degrees) and a vertical (90 degrees) angle of exposure for periods of up to ten years. The weathering- induced deterioration in the properties of these two types of sheet, such as resistance to surface microcracking, solar transmittance, tensile strength, elongation, and modulus of elasticity, is discussed. Both types of polycarbonate developed a network of surface microcracks on one of the sides, i.e. on the upper (exposed) side in the 0 degrees angle exposure, and on the south side (S-side) in the 90 degrees exposure. The rate of surface microcrack formation was much higher on the exposed side of both types of polycarbonate at the 0 degrees exposure than on the S-side at the 90 degrees exposure because surfaces receive more ultraviolet radiation at a horizontal angle than at a vertical angle. Weathering has only a slight effect on tensile strength at yield and elongation at yield, but induces a relatively large deterioration in tensile strength at break and elongation at break. The angle of exposure did not have a significant effect on tensile strength or on elongation. The modulus of elasticity of both types of polycarbonate, weathered at either 0 degrees or 90 degrees, increased at a relatively fast rate in the early years of exposure, reached a maximum, then decreased. At the end of ten years of weathering, the modulus of elasticity of the polycarbonate sheet was either higher or moderately lower.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number26492
NPARC number20374258
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Record identifier5b4f9eee-1154-4778-a33f-919d9242c1cc
Record created2012-07-23
Record modified2016-05-09
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