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Rapid method to assess effect of pigments on photodegradability of polymers

Lookup NU author(s): Changqing Jin, Dr Terry Egerton, Professor Paul ChristensenORCiD


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A novel method for studying photo-degradation has been applied to the study of several different polymers including a series of polyethylene (PE) samples containing TiO2 pigments with different photo-activities. Infrared (IR) analysis was used to monitor carbon dioxide emitted from samples exposed to ultraviolet irradiation (UV) in atmospheres of differing composition. The experiments were conducted in a specially constructed cell that permits simultaneous UV exposure of the sample and IR interrogation of the vapour in the cell. A single test on one material occupied about 5 hours - very much less than conventional artificial weathering exposures. The TiO2 pigments used included anatase and rutiles with different surface treatments. Anatasepigmented material gave significantly higher CO2 emission than unpigmented PE. The rutile-pigmented PEs either gave reduced CO 2 emission or enhanced emission, according to the surface treatment. The ranking of the pigments as protectants or pro-degradants coincided with that obtained from much more time-consuming laboratory testing and field experience.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jin C, Egerton TA, White JR, Christensen PA, MacDonald N

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 61st Annual Technical Conference (ANTEC)

Year of Conference: 2003

Pages: 1976-1980

ISSN: 1539-2252

Publisher: Society of Plastics Engineers, Inc.