How Does Polymer Photodegradation Happen?


Exposure to sunlight and some artificial lights can adversely affect the integrity and durability of plastic products. Ultraviolet radiation can break down chemical bonds in polymers.


This process, known as photodegradation, ultimately leads to cracking, chalking, color changes, and loss of physical properties such as impact strength, tensile strength, elongation, and others.


Thereby shortening the service life of the product, leading to environmental pollution, uncertain factors, and even the safety of personnel.



 Figure 1: The polymer before exposure to sunlight          Fig. 2: Polymer exposed to sunlight


What Causes Polymer Degradation?


Ultraviolet radiation in the solar spectrum has sufficient energy to degrade polymers. According to the first law of photochemistry, light must be absorbed by chemicals for photochemical reactions to occur. UV radiation on Earth varies with latitude, altitude, and season, as shown in Figure 3:



In addition to the influence of ultraviolet radiation, the aging of plastics also includes environmental factors such as temperature, precipitation, and pollutants:


▅ Polyolefins absorb UV light only due to impurities present in the polymer, oxidation products formed during processing, or additives and pigments used in the finished formulation.


▅ On the other hand, other polymers such as engineering plastics and rubber absorb UV light due to their inherent chemical structure (eg polystyrene, polyester, etc.).


Relying on international advanced technology, Fundchem optimizes and selects the formula reasonably to save costs for you and provide ultra-stable quality UV-resistant functional masterbatch ELE-VIN product.

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