Effect of polyethylene glycol on the performance of ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene membranes

Authors

  • Nana Li,

    1. Key Laboratory of Hollow Fiber Membrane Materials and Processes (Ministry of Education), Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin 300160, China
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  • Changfa Xiao,

    Corresponding author
    1. Key Laboratory of Hollow Fiber Membrane Materials and Processes (Ministry of Education), Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin 300160, China
    • Key Laboratory of Hollow Fiber Membrane Materials and Processes (Ministry of Education), Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin 300160, China
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  • Zhiying Zhang

    1. Key Laboratory of Hollow Fiber Membrane Materials and Processes (Ministry of Education), Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin 300160, China
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Abstract

Porous, flat membranes of ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) were prepared by thermally induced phase separation, with mineral oil as a diluent and poly(ethylene glycol) with a weight-average molecular weight of 20,000 (PEG20000) as an additive. Through the control of the rheological behavior, crystallite size, and pore structure, the influential factors, including the diluent, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) content, and cooling rate, were investigated. The results suggested that PEG could decrease the viscosity of UHMWPE/diluent apparently. The crystal density decreased when mineral oil was added, which made the melting point and crystallinity of UHMWPE lower. The crystallization rate and crystallinity also increased with the addition of PEG. However, the addition of excess PEG restrained crystal growth. PEG20000 in membranes could be extracted absolutely through the soaking of the membranes with fresh water for 7 days. With increasing PEG content, both porosity and pure water flux first increased and then decreased, reaching a maximum at a PEG mass fraction of 10%. The cooling rate had a direct effect the crystal structure. A slow cooling rate was good for crystal growth and diluent integration. Therefore, the pure water flux increased along with the temperature of the cooling medium, whereas porosity first increased and then decreased, reaching a maximum at 40°C. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010

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