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Title: Aging Behavior and Performance Projections for a Polysulfide Elastomer

The accelerated aging behavior and aging state of a 30 year old field retrieved polysulfide elastomer was examined. The material is used as an environmental thread sealant for a stainless steel bolt in a steel threaded insert in an aluminum assembly. It is a two component curable polysulfide elastomer that is commercially available in a similar formulation as was applied 30 years ago. The primary goal of this study was to establish if aging over 30 years under moderate aging conditions (mostly ambient temperature and humidity) resulted in significant property changes, or if accelerated aging could identify developing aging pathways which would prevent the extended use of this material. The aging behavior of this material was examined in three ways: A traditional accelerated thermo-oxidative aging study between 95 to 140°C which focused on physical and chemical properties changes, an evaluation of the underlying oxidation rates between RT and 125°C, and an assessment of the aging state of a small 30 year old sample. All three data sets were used to establish aging characteristics, their time evolution, and to extrapolate the observed behavior to predict performance limits at RT. The accelerated aging study revealed a relatively high average activation energy ofmore » ~130 kJ/mol which gives overconfident performance predictions. Oxidation rates showed a decreasing behavior with aging time and a lower E a of ~84 kJ/mol from time - temperature superposition , but also predicted sufficient additional performance at RT. Consistent with these projections for extended RT performance, only small changes were observed for the 30 year old material. Extrapolations using this partially aged material also predict ongoing use as a viable option. Unexpected RT degradation could only develop into a concern should the oxidation rate not trend lower over time as was observed at elevated temperature. Considering all data acquired in this limited aging study , there are no immediately apparent concerns with this material for ongoing use. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We thank Lisa Deibler for providing us with a small sample of field aged and new commercial material.« less
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  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States