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UV radiation can cause irreversible damage to materials in very short time

Generally speaking, most polymer materials have a very limited resistance to aggressive radiation including UV radiation. Exposure times of less than one day can already cause irreversible damage in form of chain scissions or cross-linkings. When exposed to UV radiation, the material usually undergoes material changes which often become apparent in a yellow to brown discolouration. Furthermore, the dimensional stability of these components also changes.

Greying surfaces show micro scratches or stress cracks which are verifiable by a significant deterioration of the material’s mechanical properties. The damage caused by UV radiation is frequently heard of as accelerated material ageing.

To significantly reduce this ageing, it is recommended to add pigments like soot or titanium dioxide which avoid or retard deeper penetration of the radiation into the material. The application of UV absorbing paints or special stabilisers which have been added to the plastic mixture prior to processing can also slow down the ageing process.




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