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Surface Modification Of Ultra‐high‐molecular‐weight Polyethylene. I. Characterization And Sintering Studies

Mostafa Rezaei, Nadereh Golshan Ebrahimi, Marianna Kontopoulou
Published 2006 · Materials Science
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We performed surface modification of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) through chromic acid etching with the aim of improving the performance of UHMWPE's composites with poly(ethylene terephthalate) fibers. In part I of this study, we evaluated the effects of chemical modification on the surface properties of UHMWPE with X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and contact angle measurements. The thermal properties, rheology, and sintering behavior of the modified UHMWPE were compared to those of the base material. XPS and FTIR analysis confirmed the presence of carboxyl and hydroxyl groups on the surface of the modified powders. The substitution of polar groups into the backbone of the polymer decreased its contact angles with water and hexadecane and increased its surface energy, as evidenced by contact angle measurements. The modified UHMWPE was more crystalline than the base resin and less prone to thermal degradation. Although the rheological properties were virtually identical, the modified powders sintered more readily, presumably due to their higher surface energy, which suggested enhanced processability by compression molding. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2006

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