Polymer Case Study: Weathering Polymeric Films

Weathering stability is essential to the reliability of polymers in outdoor applications. However, polymeric films can be highly susceptible to degradation when exposed to weathering conditions including sunlight, rain, and extreme temperatures.

Case Study

Polymeric films used in an outdoor application were experiencing reduced adhesion over time. The client suspected that UV degradation was occurring.

Analysis​

To assess this hypothesis, films with good and bad adhesion were evaluated by SEM (surface morphology), FTIR (surface chemistry) and pyrolysis GC-MS (evidence of degradation). Comparisons were made to a control film that was not exposed to an outdoor environment. 

 Unlike the control, the exposed surface of the field samples was primarily comprised of inorganic filler based on FTIR, indicating that the polymer matrix may have broken down to expose the filler particles. In addition, the field samples exhibited surface cracking and oxidative degradation byproducts were detected by pyrolysis GC-MS.

Result​

Our analytical testing confirmed oxidative degradation of the polymeric films, which was consistent with UV degradation.

Failure Analysis of Polymers ​

For more than 50 years, scientists and engineers at Eurofins EAG have investigated and resolved product failures for clients. Our team of experts identify key failure indicators and follow them to the root cause.

Polymeric Materials Evaluated at EAG​

Failure analysis of plastics, thermosets, and rubber materials is commonly performed on finished products and typically involve comparative analysis between failed and non-failed samples. Once the potential root cause is identified, experiments can be designed and conducted to test the hypothesis and recreate the failure in the laboratory. Eurofins EAG can evaluate a variety of polymer types, including:

  • Raw materials in polymer formulations
  • Adhesives (heat/moisture/UV-cured, silicones, epoxies, acrylates)
  • Coatings (functional or decorative)
  • Thermoplastics, thermosets, thermoplastic elastomers, composites
  • Molded, extruded, cast components


Eurofins EAG Laboratories offers a full suite of analytical techniques to evaluate the identity, composition, morphology, topography, and rheology of polymeric materials and components.

  • Chromatography: GC, GC-MS, HPLC, IC, LC-MS, Pyrolysis GC-MS, HS/TD/SPME GC-MS
  • Inorganic Identification and Quantification: ICP-MS, ICP-OES, SEM-EDS, XRD, XRF
  • Physical Testing: Contact Angle, Mechanical Testing, Rheometry, Viscometry
  • Spectroscopy: Ellipsometry, FTIR, NIR, NMR, Raman, UV-Vis
  • Surface Analysis: Auger, SEM, TOF-SIMS, XPS
  • Surface Metrology: AFM, Nanoindentation, Profilometry
  • Thermal Analysis: DMA, DSC, RGA, TGA, TGA-IR, TGA-MS, TMA

Contact Our Team

Call +1 800-366-3867 or email us.

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