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Polymer Science and Technology, Third Edition by Joel R. Fried

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Chapter 6. Polymer Degradation and the Environment

Polymers are susceptible to attack by a wide variety of naturally occurring and man-made agents. Some of these environmental agents and examples of polymers that are particularly susceptible to their action are listed in Table 6-1. In most cases, such environmental action is deleterious. For example, UV radiation and ozone can seriously degrade the unsaturated elastomers used in rubber tires. This degradation will limit the lifetime of the tire and could cause catastrophic failure. In practice, UV and ozone resistance is provided by adding various fillers and stabilizers to tire formulations (see Chapter 7).

Table 6-1. Effects of Environmental Agents on Polymers

In some cases, degradation may ...

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