BASF light stabilisers protect oil spill barriers from degradation by intense sunlight
Marine oil spill barriers, also known as containment booms, can now last longer and keep oil spills under control even under intense sunlight, thanks to light stabilisers from BASF.
Wonpoong Corporation in South Korea is now using BASF’s Tinuvin range of plastic additives to increase the lifespan of oil containment booms, thereby reducing the maintenance costs and environmental impact. A containment boom is a heavy-duty debris and oil spill containment barrier, designed for a long service life with minimal maintenance. Made with marine grade components and oil-rated fabrics, they can float in the water and contain oil while spill recovery is underway.
This reduces the possibility of polluting shorelines and other resources, and to help make recovery easier. The barrier fabric is usually made of woven polyester that is impregnated with PU for better resistance to both abrasion and tear. The fabric is orange in colour, and requires protection from prolonged UV and hydrocarbon exposure which shortens the fabric life. Hermann Althoff, Senior Vice President of BASF’s Performance Chemicals unit in Asia Pacific, said: “Light stabilisers reduce and significantly delay the loss of optical and mechanical properties of plastic articles used in outdoor applications.”
“Our light stabilisers can increase the service life of the product several times, and simultaneously reduce the resource consumption caused by the aging of the product.” Wonpoong chose a blend of PVC and TPU to manufacture the foam-filled oil containment booms. However, while TPU as better wear strength and softness compared to PVC, TPU is easily discoloured due to its poor resistance to light. John Yu, Director of R&D at Wonpoong, said: “We needed to strengthen the chemical resistance of PVC while enhancing the light resistance of TPU. As a result, we required a light stabiliser with improved resistance to UV radiation that could preserve the original appearance and physical properties of the material.”
The choice was a light stabiliser package from BASF’s Tinuvin range, which is ideal for PVC alloys like PVC/PUR. This high-performance light stabiliser system is based on compounds of the sterically hindered amine light stabilisers, which is acts in a similar manner to how vitamin C protects the human body.