Influence of radiation-induced grafting process on mechanical properties of ETFE based membranes
Ben youcef, Hicham and Alkan Gürsel, Selmiye and Buisson, Anna and Gubler, Lorenz and Wokaun, Alexander and Scherer, Günther G. (2009) Influence of radiation-induced grafting process on mechanical properties of ETFE based membranes. (Submitted)
We investigated the influence of irradiation dose, crosslinker concentration, graft level or styrene/DVB content on the tensile strength, elongation at break, yield strength and modulus of elasticity, of poly(ethylene-alt-tetrafluoroethylene) (ETFE) based membranes. Grafted films were prepared by radiation-induced grafting and the membranes were obtained by subsequent sulfonation of the grafted films. It was found that the elongation at break decreases considerably beyond an irradiation dose of 50 kGy and tensile strength decreases gradually with dose. It was shown that the elongation at break decreases with increasing both the crosslinker concentration and graft level. However, tensile strength was positively affected by the crosslinker concentration. Yield strength and initial modulus of elasticity are almost unaffected by the introduction of crosslinker. On the other hand, yield strength and modulus of elasticity increases progressively with graft level. The elongation at break of the optimized membrane (graft level of ~ 25 %, 5% DVB (v/v)) obtained at lower irradiation dose (1.5 kGy) shows a pronounced decreases of ~ 56 % of its initial value after the grafting and sulfonation steps whereas the tensile strength was mostly affected by the sulfonation step. The obtained results were then correlated qualitatively to the other ex situ properties including crystallinity, thermal properties and water uptake of the ETFE-based grafted films and membranes.
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