The Universal Selection Source: Polymer Additives

Addivant
Antioxidants are necessary to avoid polymer ageing and degradation. Shear stress, oxygen, mechanical loading are responsible for polymer degradation, loss of mechanical and aesthetical properties. Antioxidants help to combat the chemical reactions generated by these factors. Choosing an antioxidant is not only a question of performance. The latest technologies offer superior polymer stabilization but also help the whole polymer value chain to improve its business profitability.

How do antioxidants work?

How does polymer oxidation happen?

Plastic has become an essential material in every aspect of our modern day life. It has replaced many materials such as glass, metal, paper and wood and allow total changes in our every day life.

UV anti oxidant
Even if there are many advantages in using it, plastic generally ages rapidly under the effects of light, oxygen and heat. This ageing leads to loss of strength, stiffness or flexibility of the plastic part and it can discolor, lose its gloss or turn yellow.

Do you remember those 80's appliances and furniture which completely turned yellow after 5 years? This is due to polymer oxidation.

Most commercial plastics are manufactured by processes involving chain polymerization, polyaddition, or polycondensation reactions, generally controlled to produce individual polymer molecules with defined chemical composition and molecular weight.

When polymers are exposed to shear stress, heat, light, air, water, radiation or mechanical loadings, chemical reactions start in the polymer. As a result, its chemical composition and the molecular weight of the polymer will change. These reactions modify the polymer's physical and optical properties.

The thermo-autoxidation of polymers can be summarized as shown below:

Cycle
Once thermo-oxidation starts, a chain reaction occurs which accelerates degradation unless polymer stabilizers are used to interrupt the oxidation cycle.

Exposure to sunlight, UV and some artificial lights can also have adverse effects on the useful life of plastic products. A process called photodegradation takes place when UV radiation breaks down the chemical bonds in a polymer, ultimately causing cracking, chalking, color changes and the loss of physical properties.

In both cases, radical molecules are created (R*) which are highly reactive, and will create a carboxyl radical (ROO*). This radical will react with another virgin polymeric chain to create a carboxylic acid and a new polymeric radical. This cycle repeats again and again and forms the 1st oxidation cycle.

A new reaction can then occur between this newly formed R* radical and the carboxylic acid to form 2 radicals: OH* and RO*. The RO* will react with a virgin polymeric chain to form an alcohol and a new polymeric radical. This is the second oxidation cycle.

What is the solution to stop polymer oxidation and ageing?

To stop this chain reaction, polymer stabilizers are absolutely necessary, whatever the resin being used. Basically, they stop the polymer degradation by slowing down both oxidation cycles and creating new dead-end chemical reactions of inert molecules.

To offer an optimum protection of the resin during its whole lifetime, Addivant offers the following stabilization solutions:

Processing Stabilizers
They prevent the oxidation of polymers during the processing. High heats are often required to extrude or inject mold plastics and this is the first cause of polymer degradation.
Long-Term Stabilizers
They are responsible to protect the final plastic part during their whole lifetime. They ensure a long-term durability and retention of the mechanical and aesthetic properties.
See how processing
stabilizers work
See how long-term
stabilizers work

How to choose the most suitable antioxidants?

Choose the right antioxidants package is essential to ensure an optimal polymer processing, quality, durability and safety. A wrong polymer stabilizer choice can lead to more production downtime and optical defects during the production phase. A wrong long-term stabilizer can generate food contamination issues or shorter polymer durability and eventually degrade your quality standards.

Addivant has developed innovative and performing antioxidant solutions to make your business more profitable. How? By optimizing and accelerating your polymer production and by increasing your product quality with higher polymer durability and property retention. Discover the latest innovations and their benefits for your application in our application section:

Discover the latest
stabilizers for your
applications

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Case Studies from Antioxidants

The ultra-low emissive drop-in replacement antioxidant solution for automotive polyurethane foam producers.

With the substantial growth of vehicle production and the greater awareness around health issues, there is an increasing trend towards minimizing emissions in automobile production. Governments are implementing new limits on hazardous substances detected and minimizing the presence of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC).

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Antioxidant for MV XLPE cable production: Improve your efficiency while decreasing costs

LOWINOX® FAST XL is a good solution as antioxidant for cable production.

LOWINOX® FAST XL liquid antioxidant meets the challenging performance requirements of XLPE power cable manufacturers: long-term heat aging performance, scorch protection and more.

This new generation high performance antioxidant for cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) applications is a good option for XLPE power cable producers using the DPI process who are looking for improved production flexibility and lower production costs.

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Extend polyurethane foams’ lifetime whilst meeting new VOC/FOG requirements in the automotive industry

You are probably struggling to improve automotive polyurethane foams’ durability and, at the same time, to limit the emission levels in order to meet new indoor air quality regulations (for VOC and FOG emissions). Of course, while preserving the polymer’s performance. 

Addivant has developed NAUGARD® PS 3015, a high-performance polyurethane foam stabilisation solution

Unlike the well-known industry benchmark used in polyol/polyurethane applications, NAUGARD® PS 3015 antioxidant enables the production of polyurethane foams meeting stringent new VOC/FOG standards in the automotive industry. In addition, with this new antioxidant solution, there is no compromise on the foams’ performance (scorch reduction, gas fading performance, thermal stability).

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Increase productivity (+5% faster cross-linking speeds) and improve cable quality consistency for MV XLPE cable production

Addivant™ has developed LOWINOX® FAST XL, a new generation high performance liquid antioxidant solution for cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) applications, which meets the challenging performance requirements of XLPE cable manufacturers:

  • Long-term heat aging performance
  • Scorch protection
  • Excellent compatibility with organic peroxides
  • High cleanliness levels

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How to generate extra revenues by reducing your PE films production downtimes

Powder PE antioxidant, or polymer stabilizers, are blooming on films' surface during the extrusion. This phenomenon generates an accumulation of powder within the extrusion line that needs to be removed. As a consequence, your production line has to be stopped for several minutes and several time a day, which is terrible for your business profitability.

A next generation liquid PE antioxidant has been developed to overcome the drawbacks of powder additives. Download the case study to see why.

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Downloads from Antioxidants

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