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Abstract

A polyelectrolyte has been prepared, as a potential proton exchange polymer, by grafting acrylic acid/acrylamide (AAc/AAm) and acrylic acid/acrylonitrile (AAc/AN) comonomers onto a low-density polyethylene film via gamma irradiation. The developed polymers were characterized by evaluating their physico-chemical properties such as ion exchange capacity (IEC) and electrical conductivity as functions of grafting yield. The grafted film at different compositions was characterized by Fourier transform infrared, thermogravimetric analysis, and scanning electron microscopy. IEC of the grafted film at grafting % 191 and monomer concentration ratio 50:50 for (LDPE-g-AAc/AAm) was found to be more than that for (LDPE-g-AAc/AN). The electrical conductivity was found to be greatly affected by the comonomer composition, were it increased as the degree of grafting increased for all grafted films. After alkaline treatment with 3% KOH (3% potassium hydroxide), the electrical conductivity of the grafted films found to be increased. The presence of potassium as counter ion maximized the electrical conductivity of the grafted films. The electrical conductivity of Cu-membrane complexes was higher than that of both Co (cobalt) and Ni (Nickel) complexes. It has been indicated that, the electrical conductivity increased by increasing both Cu ion content and temperature. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 2013. © 2012 Society of Plastics Engineers.