EM-25 Ask the Spectar Team

Ask the Spectar Team
“Subjecting any plastic to ultraviolet (UV) radiation is not optimal and can
cause degradation of performance over time. However, if your application
requires protection from exposure to UV wavelengths, then Eastman offers
commercial solutions with demonstrated results that should meet your needs
subject to appropriate fitness-for-use testing.”
Ryan Neill
Principal Technical Service Representative
Q
A
Is Spectar appropriate for applications with prolonged outdoor exposure?
There are two things to consider when contemplating the use of any plastic in an outdoor
environment—the material’s ability to withstand UV radiation and the temperature it will be
exposed to on a regular basis. Additional details follow to help you determine whether Spectar
is appropriate for your outdoor application.
Prolonged exposure to the sun and weather can be harmful to many things. Unprotected Eastman Spectar™ copolyester is not
immune to the effects of damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays. Like polycarbonate and other competitive sheet products, you need to
give special consideration to how much exposure your Spectar application will have to harsh weather environments.
UV rays in sunlight can adversely affect a copolyester’s appearance and performance by causing a color shift to yellow, decreasing
impact resistance and increasing haze.
There is something, however, that you can do about it.
If you have an application that is going to be exposed to sunlight, Eastman has various UV absorbers that can help stabilize Spectar
in certain conditions. You may request UV-protected Spectar sheet from your supplier: Make sure to ask for Spectar UV. As you can
see in the following charts, Spectar UV exhibits low color shift and retains its impact resistance—even when exposed to the sun in
Florida for five years.
You should also give some thought to a material’s heat distortion temperature for exterior applications. If your specific outdoor
application requires a color, then sheets of Eastman Tritan™ copolyester should be used instead of Spectar to avoid heat-induced
warping.
For do-it-yourselfers and smaller applications that may not require a large order of Spectar UV material, clear-coat spray paint
options are available that can help add UV protection. Contact your Eastman representative for more information.
Yellowness
Impact strength
Did you miss a past issue of Ask the Spectar Team? Access previous topics here.
As always, the Spectar team is here to help you specify the material for your project. For further inspiration and information,
visit www.eastman.com/spectar.
For additional Fabrication Tips, click here.
Ask the Spectar Team is a monthly series of emails designed to share practical information about Eastman Spectar™
copolyester. If you have a question, email us at AskTheSpectarTeam@eastman.com. We’d also love to hear about your
experiences with Spectar. Email us a picture of your thermoformed Spectar project and get a free gift by mail.
© 2013 Eastman Chemical Company. Eastman, Spectar, The results of insight, and Tritan are trademarks of Eastman Chemical Company.
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