Polímeros: Ciência e Tecnologia
Polímeros: Ciência e Tecnologia
Scientific & Technical Article

Photodegradation of a polypropylene filled with lanthanide complexes

Massardier, Valérie; Louizi, Molka

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This research aims at studying the photodegradation of a polypropylene formulation filled with lanthanide complexes. These complexes can be used as tracers for the identification of polymer materials in order to facilitate an high speed automatic sorting of plastic wastes for an economically efficient recycling. By paying attention to the evolution of carbonyl absorption bands in FTIR spectra, it is observed that the addition of lanthanide complexes into our formulation improves UV stability of polypropylene by reducing the extent of photo-degradation. Furthermore, TG analyses show that the traced blends can maintain better thermal properties, after irradiation. A significant increase of the crystallinity degree and a decrease of the melting temperature are more pronounced for the unfilled UV–irradiated PP. This might result from chemi-crystallization that can occur when chain entanglements are broken as a result of chain scissions. From SEM analyses, it is observed that the severity of surface cracks induced by photo degradation is reduced for filled PP. The mechanical tests are in agreement with this result and show a fundamental change in the behavior of the as-exposed blends from a ductile to a brittle material.


polypropylene, lanthanide complexes, UV irradiation, photodegradation.


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