Significance and Use
The use of this practice presupposes that the failure criteria selected to evaluate materials (that is, the property or properties being measured as a function of exposure time) and the duration of the exposure can be shown to relate to the intended use of the materials.
Plastic materials exposed to heat may be subject to many types of physical and chemical changes. The severity of the exposures in both time and temperature determines the extent and type of change that takes place. A plastic material is not necessarily degraded by exposure to elevated temperatures, but may be unchanged or improved. However, extended periods of exposure of plastics to elevated temperatures will generally cause some degradation, with progressive change in physical properties.
Generally, short exposures at elevated temperatures may drive out volatiles such as moisture, solvents, or plasticizers, relieve molding stresses, advance the cure of thermosets, and may cause some change in color of the plastic or coloring agent, or both. Normally, additional shrinkage should be expected with loss of volatiles or advance in polymerization.
Some plastic materials may become brittle due to loss of plasticizers after exposure at elevated temperatures. Other types of plastics may become soft and sticky, either due to sorption of volatilized plasticizer or due to breakdown of the polymer.
The degree of change observed will depend on the property measured. Different properties, mechanical or electrical, may not change at the same rate. For instance, the arc resistance of thermosetting compounds improves up to the carbonization point of the material. Mechanical properties, such as flexural properties, are sensitive to heat degradation and may change at a more rapid rate. Ultimate properties such as strength or elongation are more sensitive to degradation than bulk properties such as modulus, in most cases.
Effects of exposure may be quite variable, especially when specimens are exposed for long intervals of time. Factors that affect the reproducibility of data are the degree of temperature control of the enclosure, humidity of the oven, air velocity over the specimen, and period of exposure. Errors in exposure are cumulative with time. Certain materials are susceptible to degradation due to the influence of humidity in long-term heat resistance tests. Materials susceptible to hydrolysis may undergo degradation when subjected to long-term heat resistance tests.
It is not to be inferred that comparative material ranking is undesirable or unworkable. On the contrary, this practice is designed to provide data which can be used for such comparative purposes. However, the data obtained from this practice, since it does not account for the influence of stress or environment that is involved in most real life applications, must be used cautiously by the designer, who must inevitably make material choices using additional data such as creep and creep rupture that are consistent with the requirements of his specific application.
It is possible for many temperature indexes to exist, in fact, one for each failure criterion. Therefore, for any application of the temperature index to be valid, the thermal aging program must duplicate the intended exposure conditions of the end product. If the material is stressed in the end product in a manner not evaluated in the aging program, the temperature index thus derived is not applicable to the use of the material in that product.
There can be very large errors when Arrhenius plots or equations based on data from experiments at a series of temperatures are used to estimate time to produce a defined property change at some lower temperature. This estimate of time to produce the property change or “failure” at the lower temperature is often called the “service life.” Because of the errors associated with these calculations, this time should be considered as “maximum expected” rather than “typical.”
1.1 This practice is intended to define the exposure conditions for testing the resistance of plastics to oxidation or other degradation when exposed solely to hot air for extended periods of time. Only the procedure for heat exposure is specified, not the test method or specimen. The effect of heat on any particular property may be determined by selection of the appropriate test method and specimen.
1.2 This practice should be used as a guide to compare thermal aging characteristics of materials as measured by the change in some property of interest. This practice recommends procedures for comparing the thermal aging characteristics of materials at a single temperature. Recommended procedures for determining the thermal aging characteristics of a material at a series of temperatures for the purpose of estimating time to a defined property change at some lower temperature are also described.
1.3 This practice does not predict thermal aging characteristics where interactions between stress, environment, temperature, and time control failure occurs.
1.4 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. Note 1—ISO-2578 is considered to be technically equivalent to this practice.
Note 1—ISO-2578 is considered to be technically equivalent to this practice.