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Open AccessArticle

Lifetime Prediction of Polymers: To Bet, or Not to Bet—Is This the Question?

1
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania, Viale Andrea Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy
2
UdR-Catania Consorzio INSTM, Viale Andrea Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy
Materials 2018, 11(8), 1383; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11081383
Received: 18 July 2018 / Revised: 7 August 2018 / Accepted: 7 August 2018 / Published: 8 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Durability and Life time of Polymers, Composites and Nanocomposites)
Polymers are a great and very important category of organic compounds that have changed our lifestyle. In the last eighty years, we have used them for the most varied applications, and from the first structural ones we began to investigate their durability, which can be fatal in the successful completion of the application for which the material was designed. Over the last thirty years, the environmental problems related to the disposal of polymers that have completed their lifecycle have begun to arise, and the need to foresee their end of life has become increasingly urgent. In this manuscript, the reliability of the lifetime predictions of polymeric materials is faced with comparing measurements obtained at low temperature with those carried out at high temperatures, in the molten state. The obtained data were treated by a well-established kinetics model and discrepancies were observed in the two different conditions (high and low temperatures), which led to a mismatching between expected and real data. A correction of the data extrapolated from measurements obtained at high temperatures, by using a novel equation which takes into account the induction period (IP) of the degradation process, is proposed. Considerations about the useful parameters, namely initial decomposition temperature (Ti), activation energy of degradation (Ea), and glass-transition temperature (Tg), to be used for making predictions, are also carried out. View Full-Text
Keywords: lifetime prediction; thermal stability; polymer degradation; thermogravimetric analysis; induction period lifetime prediction; thermal stability; polymer degradation; thermogravimetric analysis; induction period
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MDPI and ACS Style

Blanco, I. Lifetime Prediction of Polymers: To Bet, or Not to Bet—Is This the Question? Materials 2018, 11, 1383.

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