Polycarbonate is a good material for covering and protecting cultural heritage sites because of its durability, mechanical properties, and transparency. However, polycarbonate degrades under environmental weathering with a significant decrease of physical and mechanical properties and loss of transparency. In this work, the contemporary presence of ultraviolet irradiation and different temperature and moisture conditions have been taken into account to study the environmental degradation of this polymer with regard to its mechanical and optical properties. The photo-oxidation reactions cause a decrease in the molecular weight and the formation of many oxygenated species. The hydrolytic scission, instead, gives rise to a remarkable reduction in the molecular weight. These two different degradation mechanisms do not seem interconnected because at the lowest degradation temperature and high humidity levels, the reduction of the molecular weight is more pronounced than that observed at the highest temperature but at a lower humidity level. Transparency decreases with the degradative processes, but even after severe degradation the loss of transparency is only about 10%. The yellowness index increases during the first stages of degradation, which has been attributed to the fast formation of carbonyl groups due to photo-oxidation.
|Numero di pagine||6|
|Rivista||JOURNAL OF APPLIED BIOMATERIALS & FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2019|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes