analysis has a long and prominent role in the characterization of materials,
including polymeric materials. Kinetic studies in one form or another have
often been employed in an attempt to assess stability, predict lifetime, establish
degradation pathway, or project suitable processing conditions. The results
of such studies have often formed the basis for the proposal of the ‘mechanism’
of reaction. This despite the fact that the reaction being observed is often
unknown or is not a single process but rather several parallel or consecutive
events. This latter is particularly true for ‘variable temperature kinetics’.
The utility/value of such exercises is marginal at best and contributes nothing
to an understanding of the mechanism of any of the reactions involved.