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Construction for Landscape Architecture by Jamie Liversedge, Robert Holden

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Polymer degradation

Plastics are often subject to cracking, fading, and disintegration owing to the effects of ultraviolet light, heat, or chemicals. These break the long chains of polymers, which are the key to the integrity of the material. For example, ultraviolet light—especially sunlight—can cause the disintegration of pool liners, and so the liners should be shaded from the sun by use of overhang edges or by coverings in another material, which might range from cobbles to tiles. The six main plastics found in daily life are polyethylene; polypropylene; polyvinyl chloride (PVC); polyethylene terephthalate (PET); polystyrene and polycarbonate. Of these, polyethylene and polypropylene are sensitive to oxidation and ultraviolet light, PVC loses ...

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