Novel solar thermal collector systems in polymer design – Part 3: aging behavior of PP absorber materials
2016 - PDF 0.43MB
Publisher: Energy Procedia, Elsevier
A novel, accelerated aging test method was used to characterize the long-term stability of commercial black-pigmented polypropylene (PP) model materials for solar thermal absorbers at elevated temperatures. The PP model materials investigated, PP-B1 and PP-B2, are based on carbon black pigmented PP block copolymer grades. Using an automatized planning technique, sliced 100 µm thick specimens were prepared, aged in hot air and heat carrier fluid (mixture of 60 vol.-% deionized water and 40 vol.-% commercial propylene glycol) at 95°C, 115°C and 135°C for up to 15,000 hours, and characterized in terms of various aging indicators (i.e., remaining primary stabilizer content, oxidation temperature, carbonyl index and ultimate mechanical properties). In general two major trends were discerned. First, the aging processes of the PP compounds depend on the stabilizer system, but even more heavily on the interaction of the stabilizers with the carbon black pigments and the structure and morphology of the polymer. Although the compound PP-B2 exhibited much faster stabilizer loss and an associated drop in oxidation temperature than PP-B1, mechanical investigations proved a better long-term stability for PP-B2. Second, it was shown for the compounds investigated that exposure to hot air causes harsher aging than exposure to hot heat carrier fluid. This is, presumably related to the reduced quantity of dissolved oxygen and triazole-based corrosion inhibitors used in the heat carrier fluid. While PP-B1 is use for absorbers in unglazed collectors and overheating-protected glazed collectors, the investigations clearly revealed that PP-B2 is a promising alternative.