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This article discusses the chemical susceptibility of a polymeric material. The discussion covers significant absorption and transportation of an environmental reagent by the polymer; the chemical susceptibility of additives; and thermal degradation, thermal oxidative degradation, photo-oxidative degradation, environmental corrosion, and chemical corrosion of polymers. It also includes some of the techniques used to detect changes in structure during polymer exposure to hostile environments. In addition, the article describes the effects of environment on polymer performance, namely plasticization, solvation, swelling, environmental stress cracking, polymer degradation, surface embrittlement, and temperature effects.

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