n this comparative study, the effect of carbon black (CB) on the thermal ageing characteristics of poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate) (EVA) was investigated. EVA, containing 13% vinyl acetate (VA), and poly(ethylene-co-vinyl acetate)/carbon black mixture (EVA/CB) containing 13% VA and 1% CB were aged at 85°C in air up to 30 weeks. Sol-gel analysis experiments were made to determine the percentage gelation of both virgin and aged samples. FT-IR measurements were performed to follow the chemical changes which took place in the samples during ageing. Dynamic and isothermal thermogravimetric studies were performed for determination of the thermal stabilities of virgin and aged samples.
Sol-gel analysis results showed that EVA itself has a tendency to form a gel under thermal treatment, whereas EVA/CB never becomes a gel when being thermally aged under the same conditions. As a result of FT-IR measurements, some oxidation products such as ketone, lactone and vinyl species were observed through thermal ageing of EVA. It is also clear that these kind of oxidation products did not appear to a considerable extent in EVA/CB. Thermal analysis experiments exhibit that thermal stability of EVA decreased through thermal ageing; whereas that of EVA/CB remained almost unchanged.