Improvement of surface properties induced by specific functionalization of polyethylene

by Iguerb, Ourida

Abstract (Summary)
In a first step, the surfaces of polyethylene films have been modified by grafting urethane monoacrylate monomer under UV irradiation in ambient air. For native films, this grafting was successfully realized but the grafted surface was heterogeneous. To overcome this drawback and obtain a smooth and homogeneous coating, a wet oxidation method using sodium hypochlorite through two different processes was developed. The oxidation mechanism of the PE films has been established. As a consequence of the oxidation, the wettability of the grafted films was strongly increased as measured by sessile drop technique and Wilhelmy plate method. The hydrophilicity is due to carbonyl and carboxylic groups created on the treated surface. Grafting of several formulations containing different amounts of monomer, carrier and photosensitizer was successfully evidenced by analyzing the residues obtained from PE extraction in hot toluene. Indeed, FTIR, XPS, DSC and elementary analysis showed that the polyacrylate was effectively grafted on PE pre-oxidized films. Moreover, the obtained grafted surfaces corresponding to important oxidation time were homogeneous as shown by SEM and AFM. In a second step, acrylate grafting was used to induce specific properties onto the surface. This study was focused on antibacterial effect. The process starts by a dissolution of poly(4-vinylbenzyl chloride) (PVBC) in the urethane monoacrylate monomer followed by photopolymerisation of the latter. Anchoring of different PVBC based formulations was confirmed by FTIR analysis, performed onto obtained residues after extraction in hot toluene and dichloromethane. In a last step, the grafted coatings were quaternized by using triethylamine in N, N-dimethyl formamide by a nucleophilic displacement reaction. Antibacterial effect of the quaternized samples was measured by Kirby Bauer method.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Université catholique de Louvain

School Location:Belgium

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:antibacterial effect oxidation polyethylene surface


Date of Publication:07/13/2006

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