Chemical Engineering & Technology, Vol.32, No.5, 726-731, 2009
Hydrophilicity Enhancement of High-Density Polyethylene Film by Ozonation
High-density polyethylene (HDPE) films were ozonated in the gas phase and in distilled water, respectively, to improve their surface hydrophilicity. The efficiency of ozonation conducted in the gaseous and aqueous phases was compared. The results indicated that the aqueous ozonation was more effective than its gaseous counterpart in terms of peroxide generation. The results also showed that the concentration of peroxides generated on the film surfaces increased with the applied ozone dose and ozonation time in both phases. It was found that the peroxides generated by aqueous ozonation were accessible to monomers for graft polymerization. The hydrophilicity of the HDPE films was significantly improved by graft polymerization of acrylamide (AAm) initiated by the peroxides. The contact angle reduction from 74.9 degrees to 38.6 degrees indicated the successful graft polymerization. The successful graft polymerization of AAm was further confirmed by the formation of new peaks corresponding to amide groups in FTIR spectra and by scanning electron microscope images.