Fracture test to accelerate the prediction of polymer embrittlement during aging – Case of PET hydrolysis

Type Article
Date 2022-02
Language English
Author(s) Arhant MaelORCID1, Le Gall Maelenn1, Le Gac Pierre YvesORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Marine Structures Laboratory, IFREMER, Centre de Bretagne, Plouzané, France
Source Polymer Degradation And Stability (0141-3910) (Elsevier BV), 2022-02 , Vol. 196 , P. 109848 (7p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2022.109848
WOS© Times Cited 5
Keyword(s) Fracture properties, Polymer aging, Hydrolysis, Prediction, Embrittlement

Depending on the nature of a given polymer and the environment, the rate of degradation can vary significantly, from a few hours up to tens of decades. In the polymer aging community, it is therefore a true challenge to obtain an understanding of the loss in properties of a given polymer within a reasonable time frame. The present work presents a novel approach to decrease that time. Within this study the decrease in mechanical properties of the polyethylene terephthalate under hydrolysis process has been followed via the Essential Work of Fracture method (EWF-m) and compared to the more classical tensile test. The degradation has been accelerated by increasing temperature, (from 60 °C up to 110 °C). Results show a rapid decrease in the non-essential work of fracture compared to the maximal stress at break obtained by tensile test. It appears that fracture properties can be used for both time/temperature superposition as well as the determination of the critical molar mass. Moreover, as fracture properties are very sensitive to degradation, it appears that it is possible to decrease aging time/temperature using EWF.

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