Effect of Gamma Irradiation on the Crystalline Structure of Poly(Vinylidene Fluoride)

The irradiation of polymeric materials has received much attention because it can produce diverse changes in chemical structure and physical properties. Thus, studying the chemical and structural changes of polymers is important in practice to achieve optimal conditions for the modification of polymers. The effect of gamma irradiation on the crystalline structure of poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) has been investigated using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and X-ray diffraction techniques (XRD). Gamma irradiation was carried out in atmosphere air with doses between 100 kGy at 3,000 kGy with a Co-60 source. In the melting thermogram of the samples irradiated can be seen a bimodal melting endotherm is detected with two melting temperature. The lower melting temperature is attributed to melting of crystals originally present and the higher melting peak due to melting of crystals reorganized upon heat treatment. These results are consistent with those obtained by XRD technique showing increasing crystallinity with increasing irradiation dose, although the melting latent heat is decreasing.

Preliminary Studies of MWCNT/PVDF Polymer Composites

The combination of multi–walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) with polymers offers an attractive route to reinforce the macromolecular compounds as well as the introduction of new properties based on morphological modifications or electronic interactions between the two constituents. As they are only a few nanometers in dimension, it offers ultra-large interfacial area per volume between the nano-element and polymer matrix. Nevertheless, the use of MWCNTs as a rough material in different applications has been largely limited by their poor processability, insolubility, and infusibility. Studies concerning the nanofiller reinforced polymer composites are justified in an attempt to overcome these limitations. This work presents one preliminary study of MWCNTs dispersion into the PVDF homopolymer. For preparation, the composite components were diluted in n,n-dimethylacetamide (DMAc) with mechanical agitation assistance. After complete dilution, followed by slow evaporation of the solvent at 60°C, the samples were dried. Films of about 80 μm were obtained. FTIR and UV-Vis spectroscopic techniques were used to characterize the nanocomposites. The appearance of absorption bands in the FTIR spectra of nanofilled samples, when compared to the spectrum of pristine PVDF samples, are discussed and compared with the UV-Vis measurements.