Surface changes of corona-discharge-treated polyethylene films

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Morphological and chemical changes of the surface of low-density polyethylene (LDPE), linear middle-density polyethylene (L-MDPE), and their 80/20 blend were studied by different techniques after corona-discharge treatment in air and subsequent annealing. The surface tension was determined by wetting; the roughness was measured by atomic force microscope (AFM), and the surface chemical composition was analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), whereas the low-molecular-mass fraction washed off by chloroform by FTIR. The surface tension of the films increases with the electrode current. The surface roughness depends primarily on the polymer type and is less affected by the corona treatment. At the initial stage of annealing, posttreatment-type oxidation and hydrophobic recovery are competing. The former is more pronounced in L-MDPE, the latter in LDPE. After annealing at 50°C for 160 days, hydrophobic recovery becomes predominant in each film studied, which is accompanied by significant smoothening of the surface. According to XPS and FTIR results, this is due to the migration of low-molecular-mass components (oligomers, oxidized polymer fractions, and additives) to the surface.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1529-1541
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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