Degradation assessment of LDPE multilayer films used as a greenhouse cover: Natural and artificial aging impacts

Abdelkader Dehbi, Abdel Hamid I. Mourad, Amar Bouaza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


This article focuses on the assessment and understanding of the mechanism of natural and artificial aging processes of a triple-layer film made of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) used as greenhouse cover. The film material contains color dye and ultraviolet-A (UV-A) and infrared (IR) stabilizers and antioxidant. The combined effect of temperature variations and UV-A radiations, of the natural and artificial aging, on the physical properties (free surface energy and yellow color measurements), mechanical behavior (tensile tests), thermal stability (TGA and DSC analysis), and structural stability (FTIR analysis) was investigated. The natural aging was conducted on a greenhouse, located in northern Algeria, over a period of 7 months. However, the artificial aging was performed at four different agricultural greenhouse simulating conditions of temperature and UV-A radiation (namely, at 40°C, 40°C with UV-A, 50°C, and 50°C with UV-A) for periods of aging up to 5486 h (7.6 months). The results revealed that, the maximum loss of the yellow color additives occurs at 2981 h under the natural aging process and at 2440, 1096, 1340, and 121 h under the four artificial aging conditions, respectively. There was an observed increase in the films free surface energy and a significant degradation in the mechanical properties with aging time. This can be correlated with the film material structural changes. The natural aging of the film in North Africa is almost equivalent to artificial aging at 40°C. The concurrent effect of temperature and UV-A radiations induced polymer chains scission leading to faster degradation in the film material and consequently a reduction in its durability and service lifetime. The results show also that the measured parameters are directly related to the limit of use criterion for evaluating the lifespan of agricultural greenhouse LDPE covers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2702-2716
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • UV-A
  • degradation
  • greenhouse
  • lifetime
  • natural and artificial aging
  • tri-layer LDPE film

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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