Vibrational spectroscopic studies of degradation and diffusion process in poly(ethylene terephthalate).

SAMMON, Christopher. (1997). Vibrational spectroscopic studies of degradation and diffusion process in poly(ethylene terephthalate). Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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    The interaction of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) with water at both ambient and elevated temperatures has been studied. The diffusion of water, at ambient temperatures, into PET films, of the order of 10 pm thick, has been followed using Fourier transform infrared attenuated total reflectance, FT-IR ATR, spectroscopy. Films of differing degrees of ciystallinity were prepared using two different methods. One method involved the annealing of the cast films at 85-90&deg; C for different lengths of time, to obtain a range of crystallinities. The other method involved the incorporation of different amounts of an /sophthalate group, to obtain a range of ciystallinities. The rate of water diffusion with time was then measured as a function of ciystallinity. The diffusion was shown to be classically Fickian in nature and the diffusion coefficients decreased with increased polymer crystallinity for both sets of films. The perturbation of the v(OH) band of the water in the polymer matrix was studied as both a function of time (i.e. concentration) and crystallinity. The water band was shown to be decoupled at low concentrations within the polymer matrix, indicating a breaking up of the water hydrogen bonding network. At higher concentrations, longer times, the v(OH) band gained more 'pure water' like character, but remained at higher frequency than pure water even at equilibrium water content, suggesting clustering of the water molecules, but an overall weakening of the hydrogen bonding network relative to the pure water spectrum.The study of the interactions of water at elevated temperatures including the degradative hydrolysis of PET at 90&deg; C was undertaken using reflection absorption infrared spectroscopy (RAIRS). Films of < 150 nm were immersed in pure water at 52, 62, 70, 80 and 90&deg; C and the effect on the polymeric structure was examined. At temperatures below 90&deg; C the effects noted, on the time scales studied, were annealing effects, resulting in an increase in crystallinity. Estimations of the apparent activation energy of the gauche to trans isomerisation, for different degrees of crystallinity, were calculated and were found to be lower than those reported in the literature in air. This difference was thought to be a result of the plasticisation effects of water.At 90&deg; C, during several days of immersion, the polymer was found to undergo hydrolysis. Complex changes in the RAIRS spectrum were related to changes in the polymeric structure, resulting from degradation. The autocatalytic nature of the degradation was highlighted, as was the loss of (small) mobile species from the polymer matrix. A mechanism involving the preferred site of hydrolysis being a terminal ester group was proposed. Comparisons with hot alkaline hydrolysis were made. This occurred much faster and with more random chain scission.The diffusion of two organic liquids, methanol and ethylene glycol, into PET was studied. The diffusion was shown to be non-Fickian in nature due to the swelling and crystallisation that accompanied the diffusion. For the amorphous PET films, diffusion was accompanied by swelling and crystallisation for both molecules and was fitted to a dual sorption model. There was spectroscopic evidence for both a 'bound' alcohol - PET moiety and a 'free' alcohol species within the polymer matrix. For methanol in PET, the proportion of the sorbed alcohol which was 'bound' was found to increase with crystallinity, but for ethylene glycol the reverse was true. For methanol diffusion, increasing the crystallinity was shown to have a drastic effect on both the rate of diffusion and degree of swelling. For ethylene glycol diffusion, the degree of crystallinity appeared to affect the rate of swelling and the initial rate of sorption of penetrant, but the rate of the subsequent diffusion seemed to be unaffected by morphology.The interface between two layers of 20 and 30 pm co-extruded PET laminates of PET and PET with an /.sophthalate comonomer, were examined using confocal Raman microscopy. The methods of confocal depth profiling through the polymer laminate and scanning, step-wise, along a cut edge were compared. The interface was examined using the carbonyl band width of PET as an indicator of crystallinity. The interface was shown to be 2 - 3 pm thick, independent of film thickness and contain a gradient of [equation] v(C=0) band width, indicating either interdiffusion or a trans-esterification reaction between the two polymer layers during co-extrusion.

    Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
    Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 1997.
    Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
    Depositing User: EPrints Services
    Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:22
    Last Modified: 01 Jun 2018 14:57

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