Color changes due to thermal ageing and artificial weathering of pigmented and textured ABS



Acrylonitrile–butadiene–styrene copolymers (ABS) are known to be sensitive towards ageing which can lead to color changes, primary interest in this study. The color changes were expressed in terms of the CIELAB color system. ABS plaques were subjected to heat ageing and artificial weathering. Uncolored ABS and dark gray colored specimens were employed. The pigmented ABS plaques were also imposed with different surface textures. In general, the uncolored material suffered from the most severe discoloration and the artificial weathering produced the strongest effect. For both types of specimens, a clear yellowing took place. Both the pigment system and the surface texture affected the color development during the ageing test. The latter can be of significant importance in certain applications when components with different surface textures are placed adjacent to each other. The surface micro-hardness increased with increasing ageing time and its change followed that of the discoloration. Chemical changes of the surface layers were characterized by FTIR and were in accordance with results reported in the literature; i.e., an increase of the bands associated with carbonyl groups with increasing ageing time and a decrease of the bands associated with the polybutadiene phase clearly indicated chemical degradation due to ageing treatments. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 2013. © 2012 Society of Plastics Engineers