From The Blog
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.
Folding Chair with UV Damage
Signs of UV Degradation
Brittle outer layer (loss of tensile elongation)
Reduction in molecular weight
Loss in mechanical properties
Change in chemical properties
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.…
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). …