Pro-oxidant filled polyethylene (PE) specimens in standard and internationally accepted dimensions and size, were exposed to arid natural and accelerated weathering conditions. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) protocols for weathering were followed, namely ASTM D 4329 and ASTM D 4329, respectively. The films were deemed to be biodegradable and were secured from commercial outlets in an efforts to reduce waste accumulation in the State of Kuwait, and by conjunction, developing world countries; in standardising their use and formulations. The plastic films were deemed biodegradable of oxo-biodegradable nature containing calcium carbonate (CaCO3) amongst other prodegradant chemical agents. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) was used to target micro factures as a means to identify degradation in environment using technology assisted methods. A JSM 6010LA Joel Model microscope was used, equipped with high and low vacuum. The samples were placed on double sided adhesive tape for analysis and imaging. The samples were cut into (50 x 100 mm), coated with gold and placed inside the SEM (JSM 6010LA) for analysis. In addition, energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) was also used to identify the loss of chemical inducing pro-degradant materials. The combination of both methods can give way to developing a standard technique and protocol in identifying degradation profiles in harsh and arid environments as noted in this research work.
Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: TechConnect Briefs 2019
Published: June 17, 2019
Pages: 17 - 20
Industry sector: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing
Topics: Advanced Materials for Engineering Applications, Materials Characterization & Imaging