PEREZ Claudio Javier
The effect of post-irradiation annealing on the crosslinking of high density polyethylene induced by gamma-radiation
C. J. PEREZ, E. M. VALLÉS, AND M. D. FAILLA
RADIATION PHYSICS AND CHEMESTRY
Año: 2010 vol. 79 p. 710 - 710
Samples of two high-density polyethylenes having different crystallinity levels were gamma irradiated under vacuum at doses ranging from 20 to 300 kGy. Subsequently, the vials containing the irradiated samples were exposed to different post-irradiation treatments. Parts of the specimens were annealed while still under vacuum. The annealing time was four hours and the annealing temperatures 110ºC or 150ºC. Others were exposed directly to air opening the vials without any thermal treatment. It was verified that in all cases the dosage to produce an incipient gel increases with the crystallinity of the initial sample. The amount of gel produced after exposing specimens of the same polymer to a given dose increases with the annealing temperature. The largest increment in the amount of gel produced at the completion of the post irradiation treatment was found on the samples with the highest initial crystallinity level. Evidence of oxidation was found in all irradiated samples. The extent of oxidation depends on the initial crystallinity of the sample, the irradiation dose and the type of post irradiation treatment. The heat of fusion measured in the annealed samples decreases with the gel content while the fusion temperature was slightly affected. Ductile or brittle behaviors were observed after testing specimens under tensile stress. The yield stress increases proportionally to the crystallinity level that, in turn, depends of the total dosage applied to the samples. The extensibility of ductile samples is determined by the amount of gel produced regardless of the degree of initial crystallinity and the type of annealing process applied to each sample.