Polyester-urethane resins are important candidates for high performance, outdoor coating applications. Despite their relevance, quantitative information regarding the photodegradation of these materials is scarcely available. In the present study, a model polyester-urethane clearcoat without additives is artificially degraded and the changes in optical properties and chemical composition are studied by UV-VIS spectroscopy and FTIR-ATR microscopy, respectively. The change of the optical properties throughout the coating thickness is quantified and interpreted using a newly developed optical model. Chemical changes are quantified in a depth-resolved manner by combining FTIR-ATR microscopy with optical profilometry in order to visualise the time evolution of compositional gradients during photodegradation by accurate assignment of the correct depth position to all recorded ATR spectra. The rate of change for the concentration of several chemical entities in the model polyester-urethane was found to become constant after the initial stage of weathering. The loss of urethane crosslinks in the coating occurs faster and to a much larger extent as compared to ester bond scission. Results from the optical and the chemical characterisation are combined to propose a kinetic model for ester bond photolysis that provides an estimate of the quantum efficiency of this process.
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Polymer Degradation and Stability|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|