From Event: SPIE Optics + Photonics for Sustainable Energy, 2016
Poly(ethylene-terephthalate) (PET) film is a widely used material in photovoltaic module backsheets, for its dielectric breakdown strength, and in optical displays for its excellent combination of properties, notably optical clarity. However, PET degrades and loses optical clarity under environmental stressors of heat, moisture, and ultraviolet irradiance. Stabilizers are often included in PET formulation to increase its longevity; however, even these are subject to degradation and further reduce optical clarity. In a previous study, it was found that material yellowing is dominant with UV light exposures while moisture mostly causes hazing of the samples. Lifetime service prediction models were developed for PET from yellowing and hazing responses. To study the loss of optical clarity in PET films, samples of a UV-stabilized grade of PET were exposed to heat, moisture, and UV irradiance as prescribed by ASTM-G154 Cycle 4 and their optical properties were studied over time. Surface gloss loss and bulk haze formation were observed as primary material responses to degradation; after the first 168 hour exposure step an initial three-fold increase in bulk haze and a two-fold reduction in gloss were observed. Multi-Angle, Polarization-Dependent, Reflection, Transmission, and Scattering (MaPd:RTS) spectroscopy was employed to fully characterize the haze formation and gloss loss of the PET films under exposure.
Devin A. Gordon, Abdulkerim Gok, Corey W. Meyer, Cara L. Fagerholm, Noah W. Sweet, Lin DeNoyer, Laura S. Bruckman, and Roger H. French, "Characterizing the weathering induced haze formation and gloss loss of poly(ethylene-terephthalate) via MaPd:RTS spectroscopy," Proc. SPIE 9938, Reliability of Photovoltaic Cells, Modules, Components, and Systems IX, 99380I (Presented at SPIE Optics + Photonics for Sustainable Energy: August 29, 2016; Published: 26 September 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2238295.
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