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Polymer Film Testing Case Study

BIO-DEGRADATION TESTING OF POLYMER FILM

CHALLENGE

A film company had only 28 days to get bio-degradation testing completed for large amounts of polymer film exposed to UV light.

The company knew "traditional" testing would take much longer than its 28-day time frame due to the size of the UV exposure chamber and the amount of film that could be tested at one time.

SOLUTION

MPI built a UV exposure chamber that could accommodate larger amounts of film to be tested at one time than with a "traditional" method.

MPI used gel permeation chromatography (GPC) to test the molecular size of the polymer sample before and after exposure to the UV chamber. The UV degradation mechanism consists of polymer chains breaking into smaller parts, decreasing the molecular size of the polymer. There was also visual aging (yellowing) of the film being tested.

Because the UV degradation did not require a moisture component, a more open chamber was used that was not sealed for water.

RESULTS

Using GPC, the UV exposure chamber that MPI built worked as well as a "traditional" method or a store-bought UV degradation item, and was also completed within the 28-day time frame.

MPI also tested this film using a smaller version of its UV exposure chamber with the same results as the larger one.