Encyclopedic Dictionary of Polymers

2011 Edition
| Editors: Jan W. Gooch

Water Absorption

  • Jan W. Gooch
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-6247-8_12696

The percentage increase in weight of a plastic article when immersed in water for a stipulated time and at a specified temperature (usually room temperature). Most plastics absorb water to some extent, varying from almost zero in the case of polytetrafluoroethylene and polyolefins, to complete dissolution for some types of polyvinyl alcohol and polyethylene oxide. Water absorption can cause swelling, leaching of additives, plasticizing and hydrolysis, which in turn can cause discoloration, embrittlement, stress cracking, lowering of mechanical and electrical properties, and reduced resistance to heat and weathering. (Grellman W, Seidler S (eds) (2001) Deformation and Fracture Behavior of Polymers. Springer-Verlag, New York; Mark JE (ed) (1996) Physical Properties of Polymers Handbook. Springer-Verlag, New York; Zaiko GE (ed) (1995) Degradation and Stabilization of Polymers, Nova Science Publishers, New York)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan W. Gooch
    • 1
  1. 1.AtlantaUSA