Plastic Weathering Demysitfied

Old Car Desert

One the biggest technological advancements in plastics over the last 30 or so years have been the improvement in UV stability. I can remember how fast vinyl dashboards in cars used to split and crack from sunlight exposure. Today, you rarely see that until the car has been in the junk yard for a few years. Even white vinyl siding and fencing seem to hold their color reasonably well for a decade or more. This is thanks to additives manufacturers developing really sophisticated stabilizers and anti-oxidants that can be compounded into various plastic materials.

In this post, I wanted to de-mystify what causes UV damage to plastics and how UV stability is tested.

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Weekly News Digest Week of 6/27/2016

The Front Page Newsroom

IBM discovers new recycling process to convert old smartphones and CDs

Dow cutting 2500 jobs in Dow Corning integration

A. Schulman sues form Citadel owners for claiming fraudulent business practices

A. Schulman still sees benefits from acquisition of Citadel

Man dies in press accident at injection molder in Auburn Hills MI

New lubricated TPV challenges rubber in gaskets and seals

BASF launches new global pigments brand

Company develops long glass fiber reinforced polyolefin sheet

Material prices flat

The next target of the anti-plastic crowd: your garden hose

Polypropylene prices lowest since 2009

DSM launches new polyamides for die cast metal replacement

 

 

The Confusing World of TPE

Diamond Rubber Company

There is an excellent albeit highly technical article in the April 2016 SPE magazine, Plastics Engineering, about the differences between thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) and thermoset rubber. You can read it here.

Because I talk primarily about thermoplastics here at The Weekly Pellet, I thought that I might expand on the article a little bit and talk about the different types of TPE that are commercially available.

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The Trouble With Colors

Color television 2

Back when everyone was running injection molding machines with plungers, if you needed to color material, you had to have it pre-colored at a compounder. The compounder would melt the natural material down, blend in raw pigments and other additives and then re-pelletize the material.

The advent of screw type injection machines and color concentrates significantly reduced the cost of coloring plastic materials. However, running material blended with color concentrate has its challenges. It has to be mixed carefully and the material has to be processed carefully to get good results. Sometimes, even if you do everything right, you end up with nothing but problems.

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