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Abstract

There are many causes of degradation of polymers. The chief ones among them are heat, oxidation, light, ionic radiation, hydrolysis and mechanical shear. The effect can be discoloration, loss of molecular weight, crosslinking, or cyclization. The loss of molecular weight can be so severe that the polymer is degraded to a mixture of monomers and oligomers. The other effects can be blackening or charring and loss of useful properties. On the other hand, mechanical shearing is often applied to some polymers like rubbers to deliberately reduce molecular weight for commercial processing. In the environment synthetic polymers generally degrade due to man made environmental pollutants in the atmosphere, like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and oxidizing smogs rich in ozone.

Keywords

Thermal Degradation Vinyl Chloride Vinyl Acetate Chain Scission Ethylene Terephthalate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Ravve
    • 1
  1. 1.Consultant in Polymer ChemistryNilesUSA

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