Monday 29 August 2022

HDPE Plastic Bag Degradation - The Experiment Update 2022

Hello and welcome to a new blog post. Today I will give you an update on my HDPE plastic bag degradation experiment

This summer I spent some weeks in our apartment flat in Sesimbra, Portugal which by the way you can rent for your holiday as well.  I used this time to check on my experiment which I started in January 2021. 

Flashback: experiment setup 

I cut a 240x160x0.1 mm part out of a standard HDPE bag and put it in a marmalade glass which is filled with seawater from the California beach of Sesimbra. I stored it in a room without the influence of sunlight.

20 month later

In August 2022 I opened the marmalade glass again and removed the HDPE piece. I checked it for damages such as cracks and holes. However, no visible damages could be found so far. Figure 1 shows the HDPE piece. After the check was finished I put it back and placed the glass in the dark room. If the glass would be impacted by sunlight, degradation may occur faster.  

Figure 1: Removed HDPE piece of plastic bag from sea water filled glass

I will give you an update in 2023 again. 

Generally, keeping in mind the four major factors (material, component design, part processing, service conditions) impacting plastic part performance during your polymer material selection and part design phase will decrease part failure in the long run.

Thanks for reading and #FindOutAboutPlastics! 


Herwig Juster

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