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Emission of Volatiles from Polymers — A New Approach for Understanding Polymer Degradation

TitleEmission of Volatiles from Polymers — A New Approach for Understanding Polymer Degradation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsAlbertsson A-C, Groening M, Hakkarainen M
Journal TitleJournal of Polymers and the Environment
Keywordschromatography, degradation, Emission of volatiles, lifetime prediction, polymer
AbstractEmission of low molar mass compounds from different polymeric materials was determinedand the results from the volatile analysis were applied to predict the degree of degradation andlong-term properties, to determine degradation rates and mechanisms, to differentiate betweenbiotic and abiotic degradation and for quality control work. Solid-phase microextraction andsolid-phase extraction together with GC-MS were applied to identify and quantify the lowmolar mass compounds. Volatiles were released and monitored at early stages of degradationbefore any matrix changes were observed by e.g. SEC, DSC and tensile testing. The analysis ofvolatiles can thus also be applied to detect small differences between polymeric materials andtheir susceptibility to degradation. The formation of certain degradation products correlatedwith the changes taking place in the polymer matrix, these indicator products could, thus, beanalysed to rapidly predict the degree of degradation in the polymer matrix and further topredict the long-term properties and remaining lifetime of the product.
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