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Abstract

An approach to the problem of producing poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) graft copolymer exhibiting good mechanical properties and electrical resistance that suits its uses as an electrical insulator has been investigated. Graft copolymerization of methyl methacrylate (MMA) onto PVC using γ-radiation as initiator has been studied. PVC was chemically modified, and the effect of the change in its chemical and physical structure on its properties was investigated. In this grafting system, different solvents were tried and it was found that the most suitable diluent for the grafting of MMA onto PVC films is methanol. An appreciable improvement in tensile properties of the graft copolymer was achieved. The most suitable degree of grafting, concerning electrical insulation efficiency, was found to be near 80%. Gel determination in the graft copolymer was carried out, and a crosslinked network structure was formed. Increasing the crosslinking content in the graft copolymer leads to a decrease in the extent of swelling due to the less diffusivity of the solutions through such network structure.