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Significance and Use
4.1 When discarded as litter, articles made using photodegradable plastics are subject to attack by daylight (particularly solar-ultraviolet radiation), oxygen, heat, and water. The 5° exposure angle used in this practice represents typical conditions for degradation experienced by litter.
4.2 This practice requires characterization of the duration of exposure in terms of solar-ultraviolet radiation. Solar-ultraviolet radiation varies considerably as a function of location and time of year. This can cause dramatic differences in the time required to produce a specified level of degradation in a polymer. Daro4 has shown that when the same lot of polyethylene containing an iron-salt prodegradant is exposed at various times of the year in a single location, the time required to produce an average of two chain scissions per molecule varied by over 130 %. Daro, and Zerlaut and Anderson5 have shown that this variability can be significantly reduced when total solar or solar-ultraviolet radiation, or both, is used to characterize the exposure increments.
4.3 In addition to variations in level of daylight and solar-ultraviolet radiation, there are significant differences in temperature, and moisture stresses between different locations, and between different years, or periods within a single year, at a single location. Because of this variability, results from this test cannot be used to predict the absolute rate at which photodegradable plastics degrade. Results from this test can be used to compare relative rates of degradation for materials exposed at the same time in the same location. Results from multiple exposures of a common lot of material (during different seasons over several years) at different sites can be used to compare the relative rates at which a particular photodegradable plastic will degrade in each location.
4.4 Where measurement of total solar-ultraviolet radiation is not possible, exposure duration can be determined by the number of days, weeks, or months exposed. When this practice is used, a reference material whose degradation properties have been well established must be exposed at the same time as the other materials being tested. The reference material used must be agreed upon by all interested parties. The time to produce a specified level of degradation for each material in this simultaneous exposure is then compared. It is also a good practice to use reference materials when exposure length is determined by total solar or solar UV radiant exposure.
1.2 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.
D882 Test Method for Tensile Properties of Thin Plastic Sheeting
D883 Terminology Relating to Plastics
D1435 Practice for Outdoor Weathering of Plastics
D3593 Test Method for Molecular Weight Averages/ Distribution of Certain Polymers by Liquid Size-Exclusion Chromatography (Gel Permeation Chromatography GPC) Using Universal Calibration
D3826 Practice for Determining Degradation End Point in Degradable Polyethylene and Polypropylene Using a Tensile Test
E772 Terminology of Solar Energy Conversion
G7 Practice for Atmospheric Environmental Exposure Testing of Nonmetallic Materials
G169 Guide for Application of Basic Statistical Methods to Weathering Tests
G183 Practice for Field Use of Pyranometers, Pyrheliometers and UV Radiometers
ICS Number Code 83.080.01 (Plastics in general)
UNSPSC Code 13100000(Rubber and elastomers)
ASTM D5272-08(2013), Standard Practice for Outdoor Exposure Testing of Photodegradable Plastics, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2013, www.astm.orgBack to Top