Ionizing radiation provides a practical means for altering the properties of polymers. It is applied in the plastics industry due to its ability to effect cross-linking, a process whereby polymer chains link together in a three-dimensional network. Radiation cross-linking is most frequently used for polyethylene products. The intentional degradation of polymer materials is another application of ionizing radiation. It results in a decrease of the molecular weight. An example of this process is the irradiation treatment of PTFE to create micropowders, which are used as additives in inks, coatings and lubricants.
Low-pressure plasmas are useful for altering surface properties of polymer materials to satisfy the demand of certain applications without altering the bulk properties. For instance, plasmas can be used for the surface activation of plastics in order to improve the adhesion to various materials.
The main subject of our research is the modification of fluoropolymers with focus on the influence of temperature and atmosphere on the radiation-induced effects. In addition, the surface modification of fluoropolymers by low-pressure plasma treatment using various process gases is studied.
Fields of work
- Radiation-induced degradation of fluoropolymers;
functionalized PTFE micropowders
- Radiation-induced branching and cross-linking of fluoropolymers
- Radiation-induced grafting into fluoropolymers
- Surface modification of fluoropolymers by low-pressure plasma treatment
- Uwe Geißler