Journal of Adhesion Science and Technology, Vol.17, No.5, 643-653, 2003
Characterization of non-uniform wettability on flame-treated polypropylene-film surfaces
The flame treatment of polypropylene (PP) film involves the use of impinging, conical flames to oxidize the surface of the PP. Depending on treatment conditions, the PP film can be exposed to an inhomogeneous environment because of the conical shape of the flames. This environment can lead to cross-web variations, or 'lanes', in the wettability of the film. We have developed a simple method to quantify these non-uniformities using the information provided by the Wilhelmy plate technique of dynamic contact angle measurement. Both surface-averaged and spatially resolved surface-energy data can be obtained by this technique. In the case of our PP film, the spatial non-uniformities were found to be caused by variations in surface chemistry, not topography. These nonuniformities are not observed on untreated PP. Use of this method enables a quantitative evaluation of the effects of flame-treatment process variables on treatment uniformity.