Pipes of an unstabilized medium‐density polyethylene have been pressure tested with internal stagnant water and moderately circulating air as the external medium at temperatures ranging from 70 to 105°C and changes in molecular structure and crystallinity have been studied. The stage III (fracture induced by thermal oxidation) life of the unstabilized polyethylene pipes was less than 12% of the life of the corresponding stabilized polyethylene pipes. Infrared spectroscopy and size exclusion chromatog…
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