The effect of high-energy electron beam on drawn and undrawn high density polyethylene fibers

Document Type: Original research


1 Faculty of Processing, Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute, P.O. Box 14975/112, Tehran, Iran

2 Islamic Azad University of Tehran

3 Tehran University


HDPE monofilaments were obtained using different extruders and drawn by post-extruder equipments. After solidification, drawn and undrawn monofilaments (draw ratio 7:1) were irradiated with 10 MeV electron beams in air at room temperature at 25, 50, 75, 100 and 125 kGy dose ranges to induce a network structure. HDPE crosslinking was studied on the basis of gel content measurements. The fibers were examined by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and measurements of mechanical properties.
It was noted that gel fraction increased with irradiation dose up to 75 kGy and showed a significant increase with draw ratio, but at higher doses remained without considerable change. Melting temperature of drawn fiber increased with raising irradiation dose but decreased in undrawn sample. Also a bimodal endotherm peak was observed for drawn polyethylene irradiated in air.
The changes in melting temperature and appearance of bimodal endotherm were related to the radiation chemistry of polyethylene in the presence of oxygen and interlamellar interactions. Heat of fusion and degree of crystallinity slightly increased for undrawn and drawn samples but, heat of crystallization was reduced by increasing irradiation dose due to increase the degree of crosslinking. Results of mechanical properties reveal that no significant changes seen in Young’s modulus by increasing irradiation dose. As a result of oxidative degradation happened by presence the oxygen molecules during the irradiation process, tensile properties of irradiated fibers decreased but elongation at yield for undrawn and elongation at break for drawn fibers boosted by increasing irradiation dose up to 125 kGy.


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