The introduction of new characteristics to some synthetic polymers was achieved through the γ-radiation-induced graft copolymerization of an acrylamide/vinyl acetate comonomer onto polypropylene films for the preparation of synthetic membranes. The influence of the reaction conditions on the grafting yield, such as the solvent and its composition and the inhibitor and its concentration, was investigated. An alkaline treatment was carried out for the prepared graft copolymer to improve its ion-exchange property. The grafted and treated membranes were characterized to determine the structural changes with X-ray diffraction and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The mechanical properties, swelling behavior, and electrical conductivity for the graft copolymer were studied. Improvements in the tensile strength, electrical conductivity, and hydrophilicity with grafting were observed. The KOH-treated membranes possessed greater hydrophilic properties than the untreated ones. The possibility of practical uses for these membranes in the removal of cesium-134 and cobalt-60 from their liquid wastes was also investigated. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 95: 936–945, 2005
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