Changes in crystallinity of HDPE films containing different amounts of an oxo-biodegradable additive due to UVC exposure

Document Type: Original research

Authors

1 Department of Polymer Engineering, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran, P.O. Box: 71993-3

2 Faculty of Engineering, Iran Polymer and Petrochemical Institute, Tehran, Iran, P.O. Box: 14975-112

Abstract

Crystallinities of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) films containing various amounts of an oxo-biodegradable additive (HES-W) were investigated immediately after preparation and 6 weeks after ultraviolet (UV) irradiation (λ=254 nm). HDPE granules were mixed with oxo-biodegradable masterbatch in a twin-screw extruder and the extrudates were converted into films with thicknesses of 35±5 micrometers. The films were exposed to UV light for 6 weeks. Crystallinities of the films are investigated by X-ray diffraction spectroscopy (XRD) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). The XRD results show that upon UV exposure, the crystallinities of the films enhance. The DSC thermograms have confirmed the XRD results and also show a decrease in melting points of the samples after UV exposure. Further investigations on viscosity average molecular weights (Mv) of the samples show that their Mv decrease sharply after UV exposure. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) shows clear cracks on the samples surfaces after 6 weeks exposure to UV irradiation. Investigating the functionalities of the polymers through Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) show the emergence of carbonyl peaks after UV irradiation so that the carbonyl index of the samples increases. It is concluded that maximum oxo-biodegradation enhancement of the HDPE film samples can be achieved by using a specific amount of the oxo-compound (3 wt%); furthermore the crystallinities of the samples show considerable enhancement after UV exposure which can be due to better packing ability of low molecular weight chains along with probable dipole-dipole attractions between the carbonyl groups on different newly formed short polar chains.

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