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Effect of acid and pH value on the photografting initiated by aliphatic ketones in aqueous solutions



The photografting of methacrylic acid (MAA) onto high-density polyethylene (HDPE) initiated by aliphatic ketones (acetone, butanone, and cyclohexanone) in aqueous solutions with different pH values adjusted by adding different amount of mineral acids was reported. Acids significantly enhanced the photografting yield, and the extent of grafting generally increased with decreasing pH value. The effect of pH value on the grafting reactions varied with the acid used. The grafting of MAA onto HDPE surface was confirmed with FTIR and SEM characterizations. The water absorbency of the grafted p-MAA varied with the extent of grafting. When the extent of grafting was less than 2000–3000 μg/cm2, grafted p-MAA absorbed about 25–30% water, whereas at higher extent of grafting, it absorbed about 50% water. The mechanism of the acid enhancement of the photografting of MAA initiated by aliphatic ketones in aqueous solutions is believed to be attributed to the change of the solubility of monomer in the solution and the conformation of grafted chains, both are favorable for accelerating grafting reactions. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011