Deterioration mechanisms in weathering of plastic materials

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ConferenceProceedings of the 1st International Conference on Durability of Building Materials and Components: Ottawa, Ont. Canada
Pages827837; # of pages: 11
Subjectpolymeric materials; weathering; deterioration; photodegradation; environmental performance; photo-oxidative degradation; photodegradation; polymers; chemical processes; physical processes; environmental stress fatigue; surface microcracks; cracks; building materials; durability; Plastics
AbstractDeterioration of most plastic materials starts at the outer surface and may take the form of discoloration, pitting, exudation of ingredients, fiber prominence, and microcracking. The deleterious effects of weathering consist of a complex set of processess in which the combined action of ultraviolet (UV) light and oxygen are predominant. When the energy of an excited group or segment of a molecule cannot be released through a photophysical process, it causes the dissociation of a chemical bond to produce free radicals. This event, with or without the participation of oxygen, can lead subsequently to one or more chemical changes. Light-initiated degradation makes the plastic more susceptible to fracture by stress fatigue induced by changes in humidity and temperature; the resulting surface microcracks cause a loss in mechanical properties. Fiber prominence can be produced by stress fatigue alone, but its formation is accelerated by UV irradiation.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number18642
NPARC number20378902
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Record identifiera723639b-c254-4d11-b8f1-96680e93cecf
Record created2012-07-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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