Ageing mechanism and mechanical degradation behaviour of polychloroprene rubber in a marine environment: Comparison of accelerated ageing and long term exposure

Type Article
Date 2012-03
Language English
Author(s) Le Gac Pierre-YvesORCID1, Le Saux V.2, Paris M3, Marco Y.2
Affiliation(s) 1 : IFREMER, Ctr Brest, French Ocean Res Inst, Mat & Struct Grp, F-29280 Plouzane, France.
2 : ENSTA Bretagne Lab Brestois Mecan & Syst, EA 4325, F-29806 Brest 9, France.
3 : Univ Nantes, CNRS, Inst Mat Jean Rouxel IMN, F-44322 Nantes 3, France.
Source Polymer Degradation And Stability (0141-3910) (Elsevier Sci Ltd), 2012-03 , Vol. 97 , N. 3 , P. 288-296
DOI 10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2011.12.015
WOS© Times Cited 48
Keyword(s) Chloroprene rubber, Degradation, Sea water, Silica, Accelerated ageing, Natural ageing
Abstract Polymers are widely used in marine environments due to their excellent properties and good weathering resistance. Despite this extensive use, their long term behaviour in such an aggressive environment is still not well known. To assess the polymer durability within reasonable durations, it is essential to perform accelerated ageing tests to accelerate the degradation kinetics but without any modification of the degradation process. This study therefore proposes and validates accelerated ageing tests to study marine ageing of a silica-filled chloroprene rubber (CR) used for offshore applications. Several accelerated ageing protocols are investigated for temperatures ranging from 20 to 80 degrees C in renewed natural seawater. The ageing consequences are characterized using physical measurements (FTIR, solid state NMR) and mechanical testing based on monotonic tension tests. Instrumented micro-indentation tests are also employed, in order to describe accurately the ageing gradients through sample thickness. The measurements obtained on the samples cut from accelerated specimens are compared to those obtained from the topcoat of an offshore flowline aged under service conditions for 23 years. For both kinds of specimens, polychloroprene develops rapid material changes most clearly represented by a considerable increase in stiffness, which allows the accelerated ageing protocols to be validated. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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