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Keywords:

  • polyethylene;
  • cascade arc torch;
  • plasma treatment;
  • mesh disturbance;
  • surface modification;
  • contact angle

Abstract

A stainless steel mesh was placed in a low-temperature cascade arc torch (LTCAT) to study its disturbance effects on the plasmas and on the surface modification of low density polyethylene (LDPE). It was found that the photoemitting species were deflected by the screen and only faint glow was observed after the mesh. Optical emission spectroscopy examination indicated that the amount of electronically excited species in the plasma was greatly reduced after passing through the mesh. Grounding the mesh altered the nature of the discharge and a greater intensity of O emission was observed in Ar LTCAT + O2 discharge, which indicated greater energy transfer to the oxygen. Although a decrease in surface damage was observed on the treated LDPE samples by placement of the mesh in the Ar LTCAT discharges, the wettability achieved was also greatly reduced. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010