A very popular plastic utilized in the manufacture of plumbing is a polyacetal, (polyformaldehyde). The polymer is easily molded and has good deformation characteristics as produced. The polymer (CH2O)n, is attacked and decomposed by the residual chlorine in potable (drinking) water. There is a requirement to maintain a minimum of 0.5 ppm chlorine at all points of the water distillation system. Initially, there will be higher levels of chlorine present (Water Plant) due to losses during distillation.
An individual chlorine molecule will react with an individual polymeric chain in the plastic, which result in the complete unzipping of the polymeric chain-continued loss of the high molecular weight polymer units degrades the mechanical strength and may result in failure. The reaction mechanic and loss of structure strength is well known.
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