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Photochemistry of low-density polyethylene–montmorillonite composites

Authors

  • Wael A. Ghafor,

    1. Centre for Magnetic Resonance, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4702, Australia
    2. Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4702, Australia
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    • W. A. Ghafor is on sabbatical leave from the Polymer Research Centre of the University of Basra (Basra, Iraq).

  • Peter J. Halley,

    1. Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4702, Australia
    2. School of Engineering, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4702, Australia
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  • David J. T. Hill,

    1. Centre for Magnetic Resonance, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4702, Australia
    2. Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4702, Australia
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  • Darren J. Martin,

    1. Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4702, Australia
    2. School of Engineering, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4702, Australia
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  • Firas Rasoul,

    1. Centre for Magnetic Resonance, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4702, Australia
    2. Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4702, Australia
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  • Andrew K. Whittaker

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Magnetic Resonance, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4702, Australia
    2. Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4702, Australia
    • Centre for Magnetic Resonance, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4702, Australia
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Abstract

Photo-oxidation at the exposed surfaces of low-density polyethylene/montmorillonite composites was analyzed with attenuated total reflection/Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. It was found that the clay particles were dispersed but not exfoliated in the polymer matrix. The extent of oxidative degradation of the low-density polyethylene matrix was slightly greater when montmorillonite was present and was greatest for the blend of low-density polyethylene and organically modified montmorillonite. The Fourier transform infrared measurements demonstrated that the rate of photo-oxidation in the bulk was lower than that observed at the surface, but the oxidation chemistry was similar at the surface and in the bulk. The distribution of the photo-oxidation products was somewhat modified in the presence of montmorillonite and organically modified montmorillonite in comparison with pure low-density polyethylene, with the yield of acidic products higher and the yield of double bonds lower. These observations were attributed to a slightly higher yield of radicals and some modification of the quantum yield for the processes leading to the formation of double bonds when the clay filler was present. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009

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