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Effects of Temperature and Humidity on the Photodegradation of TiO2-Filled Acrylic Urethane Films



Stephanie S. Watson, Tarek Marray, Yongyan Pang, Li Piin Sung


Metal oxide fillers, such as titanium dioxide (TiO2) are commonly used in building and construction applications and are added to increase the opacity and/or to improve the mechanics of a coating. However, their photoreactivity can contribute to degradation of surrounding polymer matrix, due to generation of electron-hole pairs that react further. Furthermore, outdoor weathering conditions, especially temperature and relative humidity, can also cause severe damage to polymeric coatings. The combination of these two factors is complex and difficult to separate. In this study, effects of temperature and humidity, separately, in addition to TiO2 photoreactivity, i.e. surface treatment and particle size, and its dispersion in an acrylic urethane matrix on the photodegradation of prepared films are examined. A suite of techniques, including laser scanning confocal microscopy (LSCM) and attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), was used to follow the degradation of TiO2/polymer films as a function ultraviolet (UV) exposure, temperature, and humidity. LSCM was used to monitor morphological changes in both pigment dispersion and durability of the polymer matrix with degradation. ATR-FTIR was used to examine the chemical changes in the polymer with degradation. The results of these analyses are evaluated in context of pigment and polymer properties and pigment dispersion in the polymer system.
Proceedings Title
ACS Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Preprints
Conference Dates
March 21-25, 2010
Conference Location
San Francisco, CA
Conference Title
239th ACS National Meeting & Exposition


polymer, coating, degradation, photoreactivity, titanium dioxide


Watson, S. , Marray, T. , Pang, Y. and Sung, L. (2009), Effects of Temperature and Humidity on the Photodegradation of TiO2-Filled Acrylic Urethane Films, ACS Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering Preprints, San Francisco, CA, [online], (Accessed June 20, 2024)


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Created October 28, 2009, Updated February 19, 2017