Principles of stabilizers

February 27, 2020
blog

Light stabilizers are important additives in rubber and plastic applications. In this article we focus on the principles of stabilizers to prevent degradation when exposed to artificial-, UV- and sunlight. Stabilizers inhibit or slow down the aging of rubber and plastic products.

Under the impact of light, there will be physical or chemical changes of material. Light can be ultraviolet radiation (which comes from the sun), but sometimes artificial light has the same effect. The most important changes of materials are the properties. For example, material can become brittle, hard and yellowing. Certainly, the performance will degrade. As a result, sometimes products can not be used anymore. The additives inhibit or slow down photo-oxidative degradation, which are the principles of stabilizers. We can classify the stabilizers by mechanism into four groups:

Lines of defense

  • The first line of defense: Light screener which can be known as opacifying agent. For instance, it can absorb or reflect UV rays, such as carbon black, zinc oxide or inorganic pigments (zinc-barium)
  • The second line of defense: UV absorbers, which have the function of absorbing ultraviolet ray. The UV absorbers can be divided into a couple of series: Benzoate, Benzophenone, Benzotriazole, Cyanocyrlate and Formamidine
  • The third line of defense: quenching agents, which we also classify under UV absorbers. However, this stabilizer can transfer excited state energy generated by the material after absorbing UV rays and prevent the generation of free radicals. The main components of quenching agents are metal complex. For example, organic complex of nickel and cobalt. 
  • The fourth line of defense: the radical scavengers, which we classify as HALS. in short, Light Stabilizers. These additives can remove free radicals generated by light impact on material and cut off the auto oxidation chain. 

To sum up, the products are helping to prevent the rubber and plastics by absorbing UV rays, capture free radicals or quenching the excited state energy. The stabilizers have good compatibility with other materials. And they are resistant to solvent or water extraction. Above all, they are easy to process. Looking for specific products? Please use our product finder to get the right product or contact us!

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