Plastics, over the past years, have emerged as a primary ingredient for product formulation, finding applications virtually in all industries. Due to its exceptional properties such as hardness, resistance against chemicals, acid & alkalis, and workability at elevated temperature, etc. have made plastics a material of choice for numerous applications.
Conventional materials, to name a few, such as aluminium, iron, and steel, etc. are being replaced by plastics due to their low cost, easy processablity and light weight nature. Automotive industry is one of the key sectors where trend to replace metal with that of plastics is gaining traction.
Though possessing various high-end and inherently attractive properties, plastics are vulnerable to oxidation during elevated temperature melt processing applications. Plastic antioxidants are the compounds that inhibit oxidation and keep the material intact and workable during application at elevated temperature or during longer duration of exposure.
Oxidation process is a prime reason to numerous unwanted effects in plastics, such as discoloration, sudden variations in melting viscosity, and deteriorating of mechanical properties, leading to decreased overall strength of the material. Due to this, the operating life of the plastic and polymer based products shrinks or remain limited.
During oxidation, a chain reaction process takes place that involves hydro peroxide intermediates and free radicals formation. The primary function of a plastic antioxidant is to stop the process by countering and reacting with these species and decompose them.
Commercially different categories of plastic antioxidants are available that show reactivity with diverse reactive intermediates and at different temperature levels during the oxidation mechanism. Phenolic type of plastic antioxidants functions mainly by searching the radical during the oxidation reaction while the phosphite and phosphonite functions by breakdown of hydro peroxides.
Furthermore, the third plastic antioxidant type is the blend mixture of the above two types. In order to keep the physical and chemical properties of the material unwavering and intact, antioxidants have become an integral part of plastic compounding, which in turn is anticipated to facilitate their market growth over the forecast period.