Polymer, Vol.51, No.15, 3462-3471, 2010
Effects of casting and post casting annealing on xylene isomer transport properties of Torlon (R) 4000T films
Procedures for Torlon (R) 4000T membrane formation were developed to provide attractive and repeatable xylene separation properties. Torlon (R) 4000T membrane films cast by our method were investigated in terms of thermally induced imidization, molecular weight enhancement, and solvent removal. After development of the Torlon (R) 4000T casting procedure, pervaporation of a xylene mixture (i.e. 30% para-xylene, 30% meta-xylene, 30% ortho-xylene, and 10% ethylbenzene) was performed in both Torlon (R) 4000T and post casting annealed Torlon (R) 4000T films. The xylene pervaporation in annealed Torlon (R) 4000T film at 200 degrees C gave a permeability of 0.25 Barrer and a selectivity of 3.1 (para/ortho) and 2.1 (para/meta) respectively. A so-called "permeability collapse" reflecting an accelerated reduction in the free volume is consistent with significant temperature-induced changes in the films observed after thermal annealing at 300 degrees C. This conditioning effect is induced by a combination of heat treatment and the presence of the interacting aromatic penetrants. Optical methods were used to verify that the density of annealed samples exposed to xylene for 5 days eventually increased, suggesting that the membrane is originally swollen upon initial xylene exposure, and then relaxes to a more densified, and more discriminating state. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.