This book is organized into chapters, each with its own bibliography in order to facilitate reading. It is written mainly for Chemists, Physicists, Chemical and Materials Engineers. Mechanical Engineers and some other specialists may have more difficulty understanding it because, unfortunately, difficulty the chemistry content in their undergraduate programs are less comprehensive. When necessary, each chapter has a short introduction to the subject being treated.
Thus, the first chapter is a general introduction, which discusses the basic concepts of polymer science from the perspective of degradation. The second chapter discusses the chemical reactions that occur during the processes of degradation of polymers in general, so that they can be referred to in subsequent chapters. The third and fourth chapters deal with the ways that these reactions are initiated. In the third, the forms of initiation that occur in isolation are presented, and in the fourth, those that always occur in an associated manner.
In this fourth chapter there is also a discussion on stress-cracking, a form of degradation known for a long time, but poorly understood. On the other hand, as degradation of blends is different from the degradation of pure polymers and copolymers, this phenomenon is discussed in Chapter 5, together with that composites and nanocomposites. In order to understand the processes of degradation and select the best type of stabilizing additive, or their combinations, it is necessary to choose the most appropriate method for testing monitoring the results of these tests.
Without wishing to supplant the existing literature, Chapter 6 seeks to discuss these methods, again from the perspective of the issue of degradation and stabilization. After knowing how the degradation begins and how it can be followed, it is necessary to discuss how to mitigate it: stabilizers are discussed in Chapters 7 and 8. As biodegradation is different from the usual degradation of synthetic polymers, it is treated separately in Chapter 9. Chapter 10 discusses some important cases related to the issue of degradation and stabilization of polymers, as well as some procedures that must be taken in litigation related to the topic.
Marco-Aurélio De Paol