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Polymer Degradation and Stability 10 (1985) 185-187

Book Reviews

Developments in Polymer Degradation--5. Edited by N. Grassie,

Elsevier Applied Science Publishers, London, 1984. Price: 28.00.

This volume provides the interesting balance of topics of current interest

in polymer degradation which has also characterised earlier volumes in
this series. Two of the six chapters deal with techniques useful in
investigating degradation processes and each of the remaining four
examines in depth a particular area of interest and importance.
In Chapter 1, McGill describes various thermal and photo-chemical
degradation studies to which he and his co-workers have applied product
separation by differential distillation under vacuum at subambient
temperatures. The second chapter (Tighe) provides a valuable overview of
the thermal degradation mechanisms of poly-~-esters. There follows a
detailed account, by Zimmermann, of various aspects of the thermal
degradation of poly(ethylene terephthalate). Chapter 4 (Montaudo and
Scamporino) examines the interesting photo-chemical behaviour of poly-
amides containing truxillic and truxinic units, which has relevance to the
preparation of polymers with controlled degradation times. The
remaining chapters are concerned with oxidative degradation. Aoki and
Suzuki, in Chapter 5, describe the application of measurements of
thermally stimulated current to consideration of the mechanisms of
photo- and thermo-oxidation of poly(vinyl alcohol) and poly(vinyl
formate). Finally, Roginsky discusses the low temperature oxidation of
solid polypropylene, with particular emphasis on kinetic aspects.
Polymer Degradation and Stability (10) (1985)-- Elsevier Applied Science Publishers
Ltd, England, 1985. Printed in Great Britain
186 Book reviews

The various topics provide both academic and technological interest,

as well as keeping the reader informed about newer techniques for
examining complex degradation reactions. Although less readable than
Volume 4, because of the depth of treatment in some of the chapters, it
remains a valuable review volume which can be commended.

I. C. McNeill.

Polymer Degradation and Stabilization. Volume 8. Polymers: Properties

and Applications. By W. Hawkins, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1984.
pp. 119 + IX. Price: DM88.

This book is very obviously a distillation of the fruits of long experience in

the academic and industrial areas of polymer science. Dr Hawkins'
authority, especially in the region which links pure and applied aspects,
continually shines through as one reads on. This relatively slim volume is
not a comprehensive source book for the detailed facts of polymer
degradation and stabilization but more a statement of the general
principles illustrated by carefully chosen examples.
After a brief introductory chapter, the second chapter, which
comprises approximately one-third of the book, is devoted to polymer
degradation. Mechanisms of pyrolysis are discussed, especially of
poly(vinyl chloride), polyoxymethylene, polypropylene and copolymers
and polymer blends. Thermal and photo-oxidation concentrates upon
polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, polycarbonate and poly-
acetals. There is also a brief statement of the importance of hydrolysis.
The following four chapters are devoted to stabilisation, against non-
oxidative thermal degradation, thermal oxidation, degradation by both
ultra-violet and ionizing radiation and, finally, degradation by ozone.
The final chapter discusses test procedures.
Among the spate of books on polymer degradation and stabilization
which have appeared during the past year or two, the passage of time will
reveal that the purchase of this one for your library shelf has been one of
your wiser investments. It will be appreciated by the novice as a very
reliable readable overview of polymer degradation and as a source of
wisdom by the more experienced.

N. Grassie