Surface crosslinking of polyethylene and adhesive joint strength



Exposure of polyethylene film to UV radiation at wavelengths of ≤2537 Å is sufficient to induce surface crosslinking and to facilitate the formation of strong adhesive joints to these surfaces with conventional adhesives. Reduction of the vapor pressure in the reaction vessel to about 1 torr apparently maximizes the efficiency of the crosslinking process. Examination of the treated films which have been exposed for times necessary to form strong adhesive joints has revealed an absence of surface oxidation. It appears that crosslinking to improve the mechanical strength of the surface region of the polyethylene is sufficient to allow the formation of strong adhesive joints.