Since the first technical breakthrough occurred in the development of plastics at the beginning of the 20th century, plastic materials have become increasingly important. As well as research into polymer synthesis, the polymer industry is permanently challenged to improve the stability and lifetime of polymers. Demanding requirements can only be reached by means of the addition of small amounts of appropriate stabilisers, which maintain or even improve the initial properties of plastic materials.
In this review, the authors describe the main types of stabilisers with the focus on those categories for polyolefins. They also elucidate some of the physical and chemical aspects of such products when incorporated into the polymer matrix, discussing stability during weathering, heat ageing and processing. Examples of the stabilisation of a variety of different articles are presented to reinforce the points discussed. The review is supported by several hundred relevant abstracts selected from the Rapra Abstracts database
Christoph Kröhnke is presently Teamleader in the Development Group of Clariant's Business Line Polymer Additives. His expertise lies mainly in the field of solid-state polymer chemistry and physics. Since 1991 he has been particularly involved in the area of polymer degradation and stabilisation.
Frédéric Werner joined Clariant's Business Line Polymer Additives in 1999 as regional technical manager for South Europe, Eastern Europe and Mexico. He provides technical support to customers in the area of polyolefins and engineering plastics with products including amongst others processing, long-term heat and light stabilisers.