UV Degradation of Plastics and UV Resistant Additives

Sunlight May Degrade Plastics
Many plastics will degrade in sunlight without the addition of light blockers, stabilizers or UV absorbers. Materials may discolor, crack or completely disintegrate. While the UV degradation of a polymer in sunlight is usually only .05 deep in the material’s surface the highly brittle nature of some plastics may lead to complete component failure.
Signs of UV Degradation
*Brittle outer layer (loss of tensile elongation)
*Reduction in molecular weight
*Loss in mechanical properties
*Change in chemical properties
*Discoloration, … Read more

UV degradation

Nylon Fasteners: Screws, Hex Nuts, Flat Washers and Nylon Custom Parts

Nylon 6/6 is a polyamide plastic made up of two monomers. Each monomer contains 6 carbon atoms of hexamethylenediamiine and adipic acid. We have written about the reasons not to use nylon in our blog some time ago.
Six Reasons Not to Use Nylon
Nylon is hygroscopic meaning is absorbs water even from the natural environment. This can cause changes in a part’s dimensions.
It is not UV resistant without additives.
It is not particularly chemically resistant as it performs poorly in acids and halogens. … Read more

Nyon plastic

The Rise of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastics

Carbon Fibers in Plastic Materials
The use of carbon fibers in plastic materials has a long history.  As early as 1879, Thomas Edison was experimenting with carbon fibers made from cotton threads and bamboo slivers.  In fact, the first incandescent light bulb heated by electricity contained carbon fibers. 
In the 1960’s, Dr. Akio Shindo at the Agency of Industrial Science and Technology in Japan developed a carbon fiber based on polyacrylonitrile (PAN). Read more

PAN

Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP)

CFRP
Carbon Fiber Reinforce Plastics (CFRP) have long been used in high-performance race cars. However, the cost as well as the manufacturing time of components has made CFRP prohibitive for consumer applications. But that is changing.
Strong and Light Weight
Parts made from Carbon Reinforced Plastics can absorb twelve time more energy than steel improving safety. CFRP is fifty times lighter than steel and thirty times lighter than aluminum making a car built from it significantly more fuel efficient. … Read more

CFRP blades

The Top 3 Plastic Additives for UV Stabilization

Exposure to UV Radiation
Over time, exposure to the UV radiation from sunlight will degrade plastics. Polymer photo-degradation occurs when non-visible UV radiation made up of short wave lengths breaks down the polymer chains in plastics. This is called the photo-degradation process.  It is caused by exposure to UV radiation and results in the deterioration of physical properties.  These include loss of impact strength, changes in color, cracking,  loss of elongation and tensile strength as well as chalking of the surface. … Read more

uv radiation