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Antioxidants for Adhesives

Adhesives and their raw materials react like other organic materials with oxygen in a process called autoxidation. This guide offers you an extended overview of Antioxidants in the adhesives & sealant industry. You will be able to select the antioxidant you need from the different antioxidant families mentioned here. This guide will also take a look into antioxidant benefits and applications. You can also check how to test and determine the efficiency of the antioxidant(s) you have selected.

Basics on Adhesive Degradation

Adhesive Degradation Basics Adhesives and their raw materials react like other organic materials with oxygen in a process called "autoxidation".

Autoxidation is initiated by heat, light (high energy radiation), mechanical stress, catalyst residues, or reaction with impurities.

Free radicals are formed and react in the presence of oxygen to form peroxy radicals, which further react with organic material leading to hydroperoxides (ROOH).

As these reactions ultimately lead to a change in chemical composition and such polymer properties as molecular weight, they have immediate impacts on properties that determine the service life of an adhesive.

Some results of adhesive degradation are:
  • discoloration
  • viscosity changes
  • char formation
  • cracking and
  • loss of adhesion

The important aspect of this scheme is that once oxidation starts, it sets off a chain reaction that accelerates degradation, unless stabilizers are used to interrupt the oxidation cycle. Under standard aerobic conditions, polymer degradation generally follows two predominant mechanisms.

Antioxidants interrupt the degradation process in different ways, according to their structure. The different mechanisms and families of antioxidants are described in Antioxidants Families.

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