Aging behavior of polymeric solar absorber materials – Part 1: Engineering plasticsSolar Energy (8) 9, pp. 1567-1576
--- In this series of two papers, various polymeric materials are investigated as to their potential applicability as absorber materials for solar thermal collectors. The focus of the investigation is to study the aging behavior of these materials under maximum operating conditions (80 °C in water up to 16,000 h) and stagnation conditions (140 °C in air up to 500 h) typical for northern climate. The materials supplied or produced as polymer films were first characterized in the unaged state and then for different states of aging by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), by size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and by mechanical tensile tests. Physical aging phenomena were studied by DSC, SEC analysis provided information on chemical degradation of the materials. In addition, physical and chemical aging were both analyzed via the small and large strain mechanical behavior. Part 1 of this paper series deals with the aging behavior of engineering plastics, including two amorphous polymers (a polyphenylene ether polystyrene blend (PPE + PS) and polycarbonate (PC)) and two semi-crystalline polymers (two types of polyamide 12 (PA12)).