Towards in-line detection of thermal polymer degradation

Funtan, A. et. al. Outreach-Article, 2021, DOI:10.32907/RO-125-1679181891


Polymers are an indispensable part of modern society, found in almost every product we use, including machine and engine components. But polymers degrade, and they need close monitoring to make sure this doesn’t cause structural materials or devices to fail. We already have many ways to assess polymer degradation in the lab, but monitoring polymers while they’re in use is much harder. In a new experiment, Professor Wolfgang Binder and MSc Alexander Funtan from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, along with ALTANA AG and its division ELANTAS who initiated the research, have established the potential for a real-time sensor system to detect thermal degradation of a class of polymers called poly(ester imide)s (PEIs). Their new approach will be important for all commercial electric engines, where these materials are used for insulation. Published with the permission of Creative Commons Licence(CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).