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UV Absorbers / Light Stabilizers, New Regulation Challenges

By adding light stabilizers/UV absorbers we can delay damage and improve plastic quality. Light stabilizers/UV absorbers negate the degradation of plastics that comes from exposuretonatural light, high ambient temperatures and oxygen exposure. The damage to plastic can go from color loss to physical cracking. Choosing the correct lightstabilizer/UV absorber to a great extent relies on the substrate to be protected (i.e. polymer type), its expected useful lifespan and its responsivity to photodegradation. The most common used light stabilizers in plastics are Hindered Amine Light Stabilizers (HALS); the most widely recognized UV absorbers are benzotriazoles, benzophenones and natural nickel mixes.

Light Stabilizers, New Regulation Challenges

Choice of UV Stabilizers for Polymers

Deterioration is an unwanted processin most polymeric applications. Deterioration for the most part prompts degradation in the material and actual structure of the polymer. This causes the loss of basic material properties. UV degradation of polymers can change atomic weight, material strength,cause physical shapedeformation, dull the finish andcoloration. By adding environmental stabilizers, the probabilityof these issues can be substantially delayed.

Trends in Regulatory Controls of UV Stabilizers

New global environmental regulators are not simply looking at finished plastic products. They are looking at additive and component materials as well, this relatively new approach puts pressure on additive manufacturers. In the last decade, 50+ nations have officially formalized new regulations on the plastic substance (raw material) business segment. Main concerns here have focused on expanded environmental and economic benefits. They in turn produce costlier plastic material and fabrication processes.

With the critical global plastic garbage situation, regulatory agencies are trying to do everything in order to reduce plastic resiliency. Essentially, we are all trying to reduce the life of plastics in garbage dumps. This effort is a difficult and complicated process, we want plastic to break down quickly once it is used. UV stabilizers are designed to keep plastic strong and looking new even when exposed to UV light. The two needs are contradictory to each other. We have an opportunity to innovate and somehow limit the life of UV absorption. While the technology is not ready yet, regulators want to assure approved UV stabilizers eventually comply to a set standard. This will give regulators the ability to assure raw materials comply with the final goal of environmentally friendly plastic production and waste disposal.

One driving worldwide governmental control factor is occurring right now in the European Union (EU). The EU REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) has set up recently new standards on compound items that include plastics added materials for the 1-100 tons range in every year that are either produced or brought into EU states. With this new development there are both challenges and opportunities for UV additive suppliers. Creative solutions will result in large business growth. Others will lose business as the changes are adopted in the industry.

John Paul
John Paul
John is a full-time blogger and loves to write on gadgets, search engine trends, web designing & development, social media, new technologies, and entrepreneurship. You may connect with him on Facebook, Twittter and LinkedIn.


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