Photo- and thermal-oxidation of polyethylene: Comparison of mechanisms and influence of unsaturation content

Mélanie Gardette, Anthony Perthue, Jean Luc Gardette, Tünde Janecska, Eniko Földes, Béla Pukánszky, Sandrine Therias

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The behaviour of polyethylene with different contents in vinyl and t-vinylene groups have been studied by photooxidation with λ ≥ 300 nm light or by thermooxidation at a temperature of 100 C. The oxidation was studied by infrared spectroscopy and it was shown that the same oxidation products were obtained, but with different relative concentrations depending on the conditions of ageing, i.e. photochemical or thermal conditions. The mechanisms by which the oxidation products are formed were recalled. The differences between photo- and thermo-oxidation were evidenced on the basis of the stability of ketones that do not accumulate in photochemical conditions, as a result of Norrish reactions. The influence of the initial amount of unsaturated groups on the rates of oxidation was characterized. It was shown that the concentration of unsaturations had no effect on the rate of photooxidation but dramatically influenced the stability in thermooxidative conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2383-2390
Number of pages8
JournalPolymer Degradation and Stability
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2013



  • Norrish
  • Photooxidation
  • Polyethylene
  • Thermooxidation
  • Unsaturations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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