Polymer Degradation and Stability
deals with the degradation reactions
and their control
which are a major preoccupation
of practitioners of the many and diverse aspects of modern polymer technology.
Deteriorative reactions occur during processing,
when polymers are subjected to heat, oxygen and mechanical stress, and during the useful life of the materials when oxygen and sunlight
are the most important degradative agencies. In more specialised applications, degradation may be induced by high energy radiation, ozone,
atmospheric pollutants, mechanical stress, biological action, hydrolysis and many other influences. The mechanisms of these reactions
and stabilisation processes must be understood if the technology and application of polymers are to continue to advance. The reporting
of investigations of this kind is therefore a major function of this journal.
However there are also new developments in polymer
technology in which degradation processes find positive applications. For example, photodegradable plastics
are now available,
the recycling of polymeric products will become increasingly important, degradation and combustion studies
are involved in the
definition of the fire hazards which are associated with polymeric materials and the microelectronics industry is vitally dependent upon
in the manufacture of its circuitry. Polymer properties may also be improved by processes like curing and
grafting, the chemistry of which can be closely related to that which causes physical deterioration in other circumstances.
of various kinds is used to initiate many of these modern technological processes so that polymer photochemistry
has come to a
new prominence and finds a major place in this journal.
The study of all these processes has made extensive use of modern instrumental
analytical methods and the various spectrometric, chromatographic and thermal analysis techniques have been particularly prominent.
There is clearly a strong common bond between investigations in various parts of the field. Polymer Degradation and Stability
provides a forum for the publication of their work.