Journal of Membrane Science, Vol.325, No.2, 772-782, 2008
Microporous membranes obtained from polypropylene blend films by stretching
Blends of two linear polypropylenes (PP. having different molecular weights) were prepared to develop microporous membranes through melt extrusion followed by stretching. The role of high molecular weight chains on the row-nucleated lamellar crystallization was investigated. The orientation of crystalline and amorphous phases was measured by wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR). Long period spacing was obtained using small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The effects of annealing temperature and applied elongation during annealing on the crystallinity of the films were studied using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). It was found that annealing at 140 degrees C contributed significantly to the perfection of the crystalline phase. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of the membrane surface showed more pore density and uniform pore size as the amount of high molecular weight component increased. The addition of the high M-w PP improved the water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) of the membranes, indicating increased interconnectivity of the pores, which was also confirmed from cross-section SEM micrographs of the membranes. The surface area and pore dimensions of the microporous membranes were measured using the BET nitrogen absorption technique and mercury porosimetry, respectively. The influences of temperature and amount of stretching during cold and hot stretching on WVTR were also explored. Tensile properties in the machine and transverse directions (MD and TD, respectively) as well as puncture resistance in the normal direction (ND) were evaluated. As the high M-w PP was added, a slight reduction in the mechanical properties along MD and TD and no changes in ND were observed. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords:Polypropylene blends;Rheology;Crystalline lamellar morphology;Membranes by stretching;Permeability