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Title: Environmental degradation of poly(ethyleneterephthalate).
Author: Mohammadian, Mehrdad.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3413 5278
Awarding Body: Manchester Metropolitan University
Current Institution: Manchester Metropolitan University
Date of Award: 1993
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The degradation of amorphous and orientated PET is investigated by several analytical methods. In this study, samples of both amorphous and orientated PET material were exposed to wet and dry soil, various humidities and temperature as well as UV irradiation. Results of accelerated ageing studies indicate that the amorphous sheet and biaxially orientated bottles degrade mainly due to de-esterification and oxidative chain scission due to their low crystallinity. At high temperatures (70-90) breakdown, as characterisedb y viscosity and chain scission measurements,is indicative of significant polymer deterioration. Breakdown is enhanced by increasing temperature, increasing relative humidity and UV irradiation. In this regard the polyester bottles are more stable than sheet due to a greater degree of orientation and hence higher degree of crystallinity. However, the rate of degradation is also a function of the surrounding environment. During the course of degradation, an increase in crystallinity was observed for both sheet and bottles. The rate of increase in crystallinity is initially rapid and is associated with plasticization by moisture and subsequent annealing. The dry conditions and UV irradiation cause negligible increase in crystallinity . An increase in the number of end groups was observed which is due to chain scission. Whilst the carboxyl and hydroxyl end groups were increased at the same rate asthermally degraded samples, the increase of carboxyl end groups for UV degraded samples was significantly higher than hydroxyl end groups. This increase is initially sharp and then more gradual with almost the same rate as hydroxyl end groups. A higher level of carboxyl end groups is due to the release of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide mainly on the surface of the polymer. In this work two methods were used to introduce stability to the polymer. The first was preconditioning the polymer in an inert atmosphere for 48 hours at 600C which had a better effect for bottles This stabilizing effect was observed for both thermal degradation and UV irradiation of polyester materials. The second method was stabilizing polyester against UV irradiation by the incorporation of naphthalenea nd benzophenoned erivatives to the structure of the polyester. In this case the dihydroxybenzophenone showed the greatest stabilizing effect. Hydroperoxide formation during hydrolytic degradation is found to be both temperature and humidity dependent and appears to play a secondary role in thermal oxidation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Polymer degradation by UV radiation