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Abstract

Significant progress has been made in recent years regarding the photooxidation of olefin copolymers, but questions still remain. This paper reviews the progress and probes the photooxidative chemistry of ethylene–propylene (EP) and ethylene/propylene/diene monomer (EPDM) copolymers. Both stabilized and unstabilized polymer plaques were irradiated in a xenon are and the surface chemistry followed using infra-red spectroscopy. Model compounds were used to help elucidate the chemistry caused by unique structural features present in the copolymers. Volatile products evolved during photooxidation were determined giving valuable insight into the degradation chemistry.