Enhancement of resistance of polyethylene to seawater-promoted degradation by surface modification
Review articleOpen access
Abstract:

AbstractLow-density polyethylene was subjected to several surface-modification techniques, and the effectiveness of each method in retarding seawater-promoted degradation was evaluated. Surface treatments studied included radio-frequency glow-discharge exposure in air followed by diacid or triisocyanate co-polymerization and surface irradiation with 500 keV electrons of very low penetration. Plasma and co-polymerization treatments were monitored by ESCA and ATR IR spectroscopy, from which tentative conclusions were possible concerning reaction rates and probable chemical nature of the modified surface regions. Electron irradiation was monitored by gel content and cellophane dosimetry. Samples of treated polyethylene were subjected to accelerated testing by cyclic flexure in seawater and wide-angle X-ray diffraction results showed that each treatment method studied caused retardation of degradation; however, the relative effectiveness of the various techniques varied greatly.

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