Thermal Decomposition

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n The chemical decomposition of a plastic resulting from increasing temperature (or heat). With a given polymer, it occurs at a temperature at which some components of the material are separating, reacting together, or depolymerizing, with observable changes in micro- or macrostructure, mechanical and/or electrical properties, and, usually, reduction in molecular weight (Groenewoud WM (2001) Characterization of polymers by thermal analysis. Elsevier Science and Technology Books, New York; Ready RG (1996) Thermodynamics. Pleum Publishing Company, New York).