Polymer degradation is a change in the properties of a polymer-based product because of environmental factors. These could include, heat, light, or chemicals. The degradation or breakdown can influence strength, color, shape, etc., of the product.
To understand what this really means, you first have to know a bit about polymers.
Speaking scientifically, polymers are chemical chains that are crafted from repeating elements. Usually, these elements include carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and sulfur. Many, if not most, of the things we use every day, are made of polymers, include our clothing, shoes, ink pens, paint, and even our vehicles.
When you’re trying to figure out what is a polymer where your car is concerned, think about anything not made of metal. If part makers craft a vehicle piece from plastic, rubber, or vinyl, it’s probably polymer and susceptible to polymer degradation.