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A comparison of rheology and FTIR in the study of polypropylene and polystyrene photodegradation

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Original languageEnglish
Article number42246
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number28
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Rheology and FTIR spectroscopy are compared as methods to study the degree of photodegradation in polypropylene (PP) and polystyrene (PS) sheets. The materials are hot pressed, artificially photo-aged with fluorescent lights for 4-2048 h and then measured with a rotational rheometer and FTIR. Both materials show a tendency for chain scission which can be seen as a reduction in viscosity. Changes in PP can be observed with both methods after 256 h of irradiation. Changes in PS become significant in rheology after 64 h but in FTIR only after 1024 h of irradiation. Due to the different chemical nature of the materials, the degradation of PS is rather linear with exposure, whereas the degradation of PP is more exponential. Using the zero shear viscosities obtained through extrapolations of the Cole-Cole and Carreau-Yasuda models, relative molecular weights are estimated with the aid of the power-law relationship between these two. These results are compared with the carbonyl indices determined from the FTIR spectra. Rheology is found to be a viable alternative for FTIR in certain situations.


  • aging, degradation, rheology, thermoplastics, PHOTOOXIDATION, FILMS, PHOTOLYSIS

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Field of science, Statistics Finland

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