Polymer and Materials
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
Elevated temperatures and high humidity decrease the molecular weight and impact strength of polycarbonate. Hydrolysis of injection molded polycarbonate (PC) bars stored in glass containers at 85°C and 96% relative humidity (RH) produced brown surface crystals within 30 days. Aging of PC bars at 96% RH and temperatures of 70°C and lower for longer periods of time formed a brown liquid coating on the PC. X-ray, DSC, and GPC measurements indicated that about 70 wt% of the surface crystals were bisphenol A (BPA). The remaining portion of hydrolysis products appeared to be higher molecular weight oligomers of BPA. The brown liquid was composed of supercooled liquid BPA, BPA oligomers, and water. Initial growth of BPA on the surface of a PC bar took place at the interface between the PC and the glass wall of the container. Apparently a water soluble extract from the glass container accelerated the hydrolytic degradation of PC; nevertheless, hydrolysis of PC occurred in the absence of glass - although at a slower rate. Hydrolysis studies were carried out on several commercial PC formulations. The PC resin containing only a heat stabilizer was least affected. Of the fiame retardant grades, the brominated PC hydrolyzed less rapidly than these particular compositions containing alkali metal sulfonic acid salts. A glass fiber reinforced PC was less stable than its unfilled parent compound. A hydrolytic stabilizer was ineffective against the attack of water under these conditions.
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