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Formulating Adhesives and Sealants for UV Resistance

SpecialChem / Dec 18, 2002

The increased use of adhesives and sealants in outdoor environments has created a need for better understanding and protection of these materials. Environmental factors, such as those shown below, can have significant detrimental effects on both appearance and performance. * Solar radiation (usually ultraviolet) * Moisture (humidity, rain, salt water) * Thermal energy (heat, cold, and thermal cycling) * Pollutants (ozone, acid rain, industrial chemicals) * Microorganisms (bacteria, fungus, mold) * Oxygen (generally as a "catalyst" when combined with heat, radiation, etc.) The combined effect of these factors can be much more severe than the effect of any single factor, and the degradation processes are accelerated. Ultraviolet radiation (UV) from sunlight is an important component in outdoor degradation. In adhesive and sealant joints, UV degradation usually manifests itself by either or both (1) discoloration and (2) a reduction in joint strength and general physical properties.

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