Ultraviolet Additives For Plastics



Ultraviolet stabilization additives are known as certain chemical compounds that are usually added to products to combat the effect of the deterioration of products made of plastic and also significantly help in expanding the lifespan of these plastic products. These products are usually added to polymers while manufacturing plastic products and the amount of these products used is at a very low level. Ultraviolet stabilization additives are usually used at a percentage of 0.1 to 0.5. The percentage of additives is added to the polymer to improve the quality of plastic and also increase the lifespan of the products that are made (Suhrhoff et al., 2016).

Ultraviolet additives
Ultraviolet additives

The ultraviolet additives which are usually known in the market as ultraviolet stabilizers or ultraviolet absorbers are compounds that are chemically formulated to stabilize or absorb the high ultraviolet energy and protect the products that are produced of plastic from being exposed to this energy. Using the ultraviolet additives plastic products have a protective shield where they do not come under direct contact with the harmful radiation of ultraviolet lights or ultraviolet rays that are radiated from the Sun Plastic products that are coated with ultraviolet additives or stabilizers are usually of greater life span (Sørensen et al.,2021) as this product stays protected from the harmful rays of the Sun. 

Working of UV stabilization additives:

The main work of these ultraviolet absorbers or stabilizers or additives is to protect the products made of polymer from these harmful ultraviolet radiations and their effects that usually damage the look of the product. When a plastic product is not protected with ultraviolet additives in there are high chances that the appearance, the performance and even the texture of these products can degrade. Ultraviolet additives help in creating a shield where the appearance, performance and texture of the product made of polymer do not get affected by the harmful ultraviolet rays of the Sun. Several ultraviolet additives have been uniquely designed to provide protective shields to specific plastics and polymers and are used throughout the entire plastic industry. These products are also used in the packaging and food industry and are approved by multiple people around the world. It is known to everyone that when plastic products are directly exposed to the rays of the sun the chances of these products getting damaged by harmful radiations are very high.

 To avoid these harmful effects affecting the polymer products, many companies that produce plastic products have started using ultraviolet additives to their products to protect the products from sunlight and their radiations. Ultraviolet additives or observers are also used as it helps in reducing the photooxidation process and increases the lifespan of plastic particles along with the factors of color fastness. This increases the product quality and helps the product from being degraded. The effects of the sun are also minimized with the help of UV additives, absorbers or stabilizers. These are the most used products in the entire world and are very versatile.

What are the major types of UV additives?

Despite the functions being similar to an ultraviolet absorber, an ultraviolet stabilizer and a quencher, the methods in which each of these particles operates differ from each other. The methods are explained below.

  • Ultraviolet absorbers: The UV absorbers focus on working by keeping the target of the incident radiation before 2 factors of any sort of initial degradation of the product. The function of the absorbers is to absorb high energy ultraviolet light and then re-emit at energy (Bedard et al., 2021) that is lower compared to the prior one. This helps in dissipating the energy however in a lesser dangerous way. Video the most vital class of ultraviolet absorbers are known as hydrobenzophones. One of the biggest disadvantages of using this product is that they require substantial thickness within the product for effectively working and hence are usually not used for thin plastic products like film or textiles (McKeen., 2019).
  • UV stabilizers: These are the products that worked differently when compared to UV absorbers. These products usually have the tendency to target a selective part of the chain reaction of degradation. Their work is to interact with the mechanism of chain scission at a very early stage that helps in preventing the factors of propagating the mechanism of the gradation and therefore also prevents the chances of runway reaction. These products are usually stated as free radical scavengers or are also known as hydroperoxide decomposers. 
  • Quenchers: The quenchers work in a way the UV absorbers work where they focus on absorbing energy with the use of chromophore which are typical conjugated double bonds that are present in the polymers and they also dispose of it like heat.

Application of UV additives

The UV additives are mostly used in the plastic industry. There are certain specific uses of these additives that are

  • Adhesive and sealant
  • Rubber and elastomer
  • Coatings
  • Fibres
  • Engineering
  • Polyurethane
  • Polyolefins
  • Styrenics


Q1: What are UV additives?

Ans: Ultraviolet additives are compounds that help in retaining the quality of plastic or polymer in plastic products. These act as a shield to protect the plastic products from being damaged by the dangerous ultraviolet rays of the Sun. These products help in increasing the life span of plastic products and keep them in better condition.

Q2: Are UV stabilizers and UV absorbers the same? If not, what is the difference?

Ans: No, ultraviolet stabilizers and ultraviolet observers have a similar function that is protecting the plastic from the harmful rays of the sun however their methods of working are different. The work of ultraviolet absorbers is focused on keeping the target of the incident radiation before the factors of any sort of initial degradation of the product. Whereas the work of ultraviolet stabilizers is to target a selective part of the chain reaction of degradation. Their main work is to interact with the help of chain scission at a very early stage.

Q3: Where are UV additives used the most?

Ans: The ultraviolet additives are mostly used in the plastic industry and are also used in the food and packaging industry. 

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Robert Keith