Micom Laboratories is pleased to announce that it now offers the ASTM D3045 and ASTM F1980 tests as part of its offering for polymer testing and medical devices testing. Although these two methods concern different domains of application, they are essentially the same method and can be interchanged in a transparent way.
Polymers are widely used in a broad range of domains where long-term service in hostile environments without any changes in performance is required. Examples of such applications would be gas pipelines, medical implants, chemical storage tanks, sterile barrier systems, and so on. However, one of the limiting factors in the usage of polymers is their tendency to become softer or brittle and thermally degrade due to high temperatures specific to end-use conditions. At hostile temperatures, a molecular scission of the components of the chain backbone of the polymer can occur. Those components can react with one another and, in this way, change the mechanical and optical properties of the material.
ASTM D3045 and ASTM F1980 tests
Both ASTM D3045 and ASTM F1980 use oven aging exposure to simulate conditions the product may be subjected to in its lifetime but on an accelerated basis. The heat of the oven reacts with the chemical components of the material. By doing so, it is possible to evaluate the ability of different polymers to resist to various aging mechanisms, or in other words, their stability, when exposed to hot air, such as oxidation. The latter is related to a chain oxidation reaction of the plastic accompanied by the formation and decomposition of hydroperoxides. Other mechanism of aging include photo degradation (light) and weathering (UV light).
Heat aging testing is based on the fact that any chemical reaction will double its speed with each 10 °C increase. It is governed by Arrhenius’ law. However, beyond a certain temperature point, high levels of activation energy will cause molecules in the tested material to respond and cause chemical reactions to take place that would not naturally occur even over long periods of time or extremely adverse conditions.
Heat aging manifests itself in various ways, whether it is by the loss of volatiles such as moisture, solvents or plasticizers. This loss can usually provoke shrinkage. Heat aging can also induce some change in color of the plastic or coloring agent. Not every polymer will react the same way and degradation is in fact inevitable. Indeed, degradation during service life results in a steady decline in polymer properties. Nonetheless, this artificial aging method provides the producers a better understanding of their product’s reaction to time and use, which is crucial to make relevant modifications. Furthermore, stability testing is a way to determine if specific polymers are chemically stable enough to retain their mechanical properties within a given time span. In the case of sterile barrier system for medical devices, their stability is crucial so that their integrity and microbial properties, and therefore their sterility, are preserved over their stated lifespan.
Micom offers polymer testing services for a wide selection of material and products. For more information about the ASTM D4329 test, we invite you to contact our material testing laboratory today. It will be our pleasure to answer your questions about ASTM D3045 and ASTM F1980 tests.
All of the information and opinions contained in this blog are made with the information, and the understanding that we have reviewed at the time of publishing. However, despite our efforts, we do not offer any guarantee of their accuracy, thoroughness of our investigation or validity. The author of this blog is not liable for any inaccuracies or any losses or damages that may result from the use of the information or data contained herein. This blog has not been reviewed or verified for its accuracy by any peer group associates prior to publication.
My career has been focused on simulating real life in the lab under controlled yet accelerated conditions. My passion for lab testing lead me to start Micom Laboratories Inc. 16 years ago. Through time I made sure Micom has the necessary equipment to simulate various environmental parameters such as the sun, vibrations, heat, cold, thermal shocks and humidity. I wanted to be able to move things back and forth, apply stresses to the products and materials we test and see how they react to the various stimuli. To do so we test products and materials against known standards and specifications (certification) and in many cases by creating my own test protocols and specifications (this is the cherry on top of the sundae…). This is what led me to participate in many standards writing committees and to become chairman of some of these committees.