Aging of low-density polyethylene in natural weather, underground soil aging and sea water: Effect of a starch-based prodegradant additive

Authors

  • M. Elanmugilan,

    1. Rubber Technology Centre, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302, West Bengal, India
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  • P.A. Sreekumar,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
    • Department of Chemical and Process Engineering Technology, Jubail Industrial College, Al-Jubail, 31961, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. E-mail: sreekumarpa2008@gmail.com

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  • N.K. Singha,

    1. Rubber Technology Centre, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302, West Bengal, India
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  • Mamdouh A. Al-Harthi,

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
    2. Center for Research Excellence in Petroleum Refining and Petrochemicals, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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  • S.K. De

    1. Department of Chemical Engineering, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran 31261, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Abstract

This article reports the results of studies on the degradation of the blend of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) with a starch based prodegradant additive, named commercially as Polystarch plus H and abbreviated as PSH, under natural weather, underground soil aging, and sea water aging in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The work includes measurements of tensile properties, thermal behavior, and scanning electron microscopic (SEM) studies on the unaged and aged LDPE and the LDPE/PSH blend having 25% (w/w) of PSH. Results of the preliminary experiments showed that changes in properties are not prominent at lower loadings of PSH. In the case of the blend, incorporation of the additive PSH caused a reduction in elongation at break, which is accentuated under aging. The effectiveness of the prodegradant additive in the degradation behavior follows the order, natural aging > underground soil aging > sea water aging. It is believed that the prodegradant additive is effective in chain scission in sunlight under natural weathering conditions, in contrast to underground soil aging and sea water. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 53:2389–2397, 2013. © 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers

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