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Keywords:

  • polyethylene (PE);
  • irradiation;
  • fractionation of polymers;
  • crystallization analysis fractionation;
  • preparative fractionation

Abstract

The effects of γ-radiation on a low-density polyethylene (LDPE) were investigated by novel techniques, such as crystallization analysis fractionation and preparative fractionation, to analyze and compare their performance with other analytical procedures such as DSC, FTIR, and GPC. The LDPE was thus irradiated with four different doses of γ-radiation. Different fractions were obtained from these irradiated materials by preparative fractionation, which were characterized by the above-mentioned analysis techniques. The changes in the morphology and chemical structure of LDPE after the irradiation were analyzed and it was found that both oxidative scission and crosslinking are phenomena related to the exposure of LDPE at high-energy radiation. Crystallization analysis fractionation and preparative fractionation proved to be suitable techniques to characterize the effects of γ-radiation on a low-density polyethylene material. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 94: 1803–1814, 2004