Polyethylene Based Nanocomposite Films Display Increased Resistance to UV Irradiation

I. Mahmud, T. Thuy, M. Nguyen, P. Bernazzani
Lamar University,
United States

Keywords: nanocomposite, polyethylene, degradation

Summary:

Polymers exposed to natural elements age at an increased rate mostly because of UV and air exposure. Nanocomposites, i.e. polymers containing different types of nanoparticles, may help or inhibit degradation. To understand the effect of the nature of the particles on the degradation process, nanoparticles of TiO2, FeO, ZnO, and CdCl2 were incorporated into polyethylene thin films and exposed to UV irradiation (254 nm) for different durations. The crystal content and degradation temperature of the polyethylene film nanocomposites were investigated using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) under both nitrogen and air atmospheres. Results suggest that the addition of ZnO and CdCl2 decreases the crystal content of the films, while the addition of TiO2, ZnO and FeO significantly modified the degradation temperature supporting the hypothesis that the nature of the particles influences the degradation properties of the nanocomposite.