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Investigation into time dependant degradation and atmospheric conditions on the wettability of nylon 6,6 which has undergone CO2 laser surface modification

By David Waugh, Jonathan Lawrence and D.J. Morgan


Modification of the wettability of polymers has been demonstrated previously; however, it is known that the wettability modifications of these materials can degrade or vary over time. This can be seen to be crucial from a commercial point of view as this would indicate that a shelf-life has to be established. But at the same time, atmospheric parameters may affect the contact angle and must therefore be accounted for as a control variable in any long-term study of wettability. In this study four CO2 laser patterned nylon 6,6 samples with differing topographical patterns and one as-received sample were analysed over a 30 week period whilst stored in ambient air. By obtaining the characteristic contact angle every two weeks it was found that the contact angle varied erratically before ultimately increasing for all samples after the 30 weeks. White light interferometry analysis determined that the laser patterning gave rise to peak heights of up to 3 μm with roughness parameters Ra and Sa of up to 0.305 and 0.408 μm, respectively. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy found that surface oxygen content increased by up to 7 %At. It was identified that there was a significant correlation between changes in barometric air pressure and contact angle, highlighting the need for further study to determine if this is a dominant factor

Topics: F331 Atmospheric Physics, F830 Topography, J410 Polymers Technology, F361 Laser Physics
Publisher: Laser Institute of America
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:

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