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UV Stabilizers for Plastics – What you Need to Know

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Table of Content

Introduction

Do you know that the plastic UV stabilizer market size is forecast to reach $2,389.9 million by 2025? This figure is further expected to triple by 2050. In case you are wondering what’s attracting those huge numbers in the stabilizers market, remember the use of plastics in our daily.

The growth is due to the wide usage of UV stabilizers in plastic which is growing in use. From the start of plastic mass production in 1940, it has become part of our life. By 2020, the global production of plastics had increased to 360 million tons. By the year 2050, plastic production is expected to triple. This points to increased use of UV stabilizers.

uv stablizier 2
UV Stabilizier

Many plastics like polyethylene are used for applications that require  U.V stabilization. This article will familiarize you with various UV stabilizers. You will learn on,

  • How plastics degrade
  • What are UV stabilized?
  • Uv intensity radiation 
  • And lots more

Let get right into it!

How to Avoid UV Degradation

There are many ways to avoid UV degradation in plastics. You can use stabilizers, absorbers, or blockers. 

For some outdoor applications, the addition of carbon black around will protect by blocking process. 

Besides, pigments such as titanium dioxide are effective. Organic compounds such as benzotriazoles are also absorbers that absorb the UV. 

ultraviolet absorbers
ultraviolet absorbers

The main mechanism for protection is to add a stabilizer. The common one is HALS (Hindered Amine Light Stabilizer). This absorbs the excited groups and prevents the chemical reaction of the radicals.

The additives are used in combinations to produce special  UV protection.

What Are UV Stabilizers?

Plastic stabilizers are chemical additives that may be added to plastics materials to deter their degradation. The stabilizers allow the plastic to be produced with fewer defects, extend its useful lifespan, and ease their recycling.

The degradation of plastics results in

  • Cracking
  • Chalking
  • Colour fading
  • Long of mechanical properties  such as tensile strength etc

The UV stabilizers slow down this degradation process.

UV Radiation Intensity – KLY Concept

UV radiation affects materials used in the production of textiles. UV radiation results in degradation affecting the strength of the basic building blocks such as fibers and stripes.

The UV radiation intensity varies and is proportional to the intensity of solar radiation in various geographical regions. The intensity of UV radiation is measured in Langley in KLy (Kilolangley). 

The KLY expresses energy from UV radiation received at one m2 per year. Take note the world regions are mapped according to UV radiation intensity.

klangley world map
klangley world map

The plastic materials are protected from the effects of UV radiation by UV stabilizers. The plastic stabilization from the effects of UV radiation is controlled by the intensity of the radiation in individual areas.

Let’s take an example. The average UV radiation level in Western Europe varies from 80 -100 KLY annually. Other regions UV radiation levels are as follows:

  • Australia 180KLY
  • Central Europe 100KLY
  • Polar region 60KLY

This signifies that nets or tarpaulins with a KLY value of 400 can resist the harmful effects of UV radiation for a minimum of  5 years. Thereafter, the tensile strength is expected to be at least 50% of the original value.

The lifespan can be longer or shorter. It will depend on changes in the amount of sunlight and other atmospheric conditions for example temperature, humidity, and reflection from the snow.

The EyouAgro Uv stabilized products have Kly value, Indicated. The value gives you the expected lifetime under normal conditions. The retained strengthen after the given Kly period should be at least 50%.

To prevent large losses in strength, you must choose stabilization higher than the UV radiation intensity in your area.

UV stabilizers resist the degradation that plastics  undergo under effects of:

  • Sunlight
  • UV rays
  • Heat 
  • and reaction with oxygen

Why Add Stabilizers to Plastics

Adding UV stabilizers to a polymer improves the appearance and overall life of the products. The selection of a stabilizer  depends on the:

  •  Surface to be protected
  •  Envisioned function life
  • And the sensitivity of photodegradation

For products that require long life, UV stabilizers are added to both yearning and lamination during the production process. UV stabilizers in plastics act as

  • Absorbing UV radiation
  • Converting the energy to low-level heat

The chemical in stabilizers acts similar to sunscreen  that protects skin against sunburn

The Euro products yarn incorporates stabilizers protection against oxidation and ultraviolet to sunlight

Our fiber is protected so that 360kluy is 3 years of exposure, it maintains 70% of its initial mechanical properties

UV Stabilization Methods

o   Coating

This is a simple and effective method of achieving UV stabilization in polymers. The polymers are coated with inert material. 

For example, the structure and chemical integrity of the polymer resin is preserved. This is because the added layer prevents harmful radiation from passing through and destroying the bonds.

o   Absorption

Besides, the absorption process includes additives to the polymer resin. It absorbs incoming UV radiation. Then it converts it into heat thus protecting the polymer bonds from harm.

Nonetheless, these additives target rays in the spectrum range.  This makes them suitable for a vast variety of polymer types.

 UV Stabilization Products

This method uses UV stabilizer products. The  UV energy rays are absorbed. The stabilizers use chemical processes to accomplish this and protect the carbon bonds from the effects of degradation

Quenchers

Quenchers are additives that attain UV stabilization. They act as energy transfer agents. And transfer the energy away from the polymer chains to themselves 

Particles Scavenger

These are base particles that are added to polymer resins. Once they are added they scavenge and trap charged radicals. 

This prevents further harm to the polymer chains. Scavengers make the biggest categories of UV protectors. They are represented by the Hindered Amine Light Stabilizers (HALS) group.

Scavengers hold an extra advantage in binding additives to the polymer at the molecular level.

Methods of Predicting Plastics Reaction to UV

methods of predicting plastics reaction to uv 2
methods of predicting plastics reaction to uv 2

The plastic reaction to UV radiation determines which UV stabilization method would be best. Here some  common ones:

  • ASTM D2563 and ASTM D 4459

Common practices for Xenon-Arc exposure of plastics. This for outdoor and indoor applications.

  • ASTM G154 and ASTM D 4329

Normal practice for employing Fluorescent UV Lamp apparatus for exposure plastics.

  • ISO 4892

A process of exposure to laboratory light sources for various polymer types.

Conclusion

Exposure to UV radiation from sunlight will degrade your plastic materials over time. 

To avoid degradation the plastic should be strengthened by UV stabilizers to retain long-term properties. 

At  www.eyouagro.com our crop protection textile such as netting and tarpaulin covers are UV stabilized for durability.

You need to email [email protected] for all UV stabilized products information.

Kevin Lyu
The Author >>
Kevin Lyu
Hey, I’m Kevin Lyu, the founder of Eyouagro.com , Family-run business
An expert of agriculture protection textile specialist .
In the past 24 years, we have helped 55 countries and 150+ Clients like farms, orchards , vineyards to protect their plants. The purpose of this article is to share with the knowledge related to agriculture growing protection for making the plant healthier and stronger.
We are at your disposal for any technical or commercial information

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