Crystalline surface species were observed at the surface of polyamide 12 materials upon accelerated aging. After detection of the depositions with scanning electron microscopy (SEM), the crystalline surface precipitations were analyzed with Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and Raman imaging microscopy. These surface species were supposed to be cyclic oligomers (dimer and trimer) of the PA12 monomer laurolactam, which are usually present in polyamide materials and tend to migrate to the surface when the material is subjected to accelerated aging. The evidence for the chemical identity of the crystalline surface structures to be mainly the cyclic dimer and trimer of laurolactam was given by melting-point identification and mass spectroscopic analysis of the methanol eluate of the surface. The Raman and FT-IR spectra of the mixture were extracted from the recorded images.
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