Polymer, 2018, vol 148pp. 316-329
The photo-oxidation behavior of high density polyethylene (HDPE) subjected to uniaxial tensile stress is investigated at various temperatures, tensile stress levels and time durations. The effect of stress on the photo-oxidation rate of HDPE is found to be non-monotonous. Tensile stress is found to play distinctly different roles, namely showing acceleratory or inhibitory effect, with the elapse of aging time and at different temperatures. Stress-induced aging inhibition is prone to occur at low temperatures and high stresses within an appropriate aging duration. With elevating temperature, however, this inhibition effect disappears gradually and the stress is found to accelerate the aging process. Microstructural analysis reveals that the effect of stress is closely related to the interplay between the changes in the surface morphology as well as amorphous aggregation structure of materials and the photochemical degradation during aging, which is induced by the variation of molecular orientation and packing state in amorphous region, stress transfer efficiency, thermodynamic and kinetic aspects of photochemical reaction process.