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MULTI-PHYSICS APPROACHES FOR THE BEHAVIOR OF POLYMER-BASED MATERIALS

Modifications of the Polylactic Acid Surface Properties by DBD Plasma Treatment at Atmospheric Pressure

[+] Author and Article Information
C. Vergne

O. Buchheit, F. Eddoumy, E. Sorrenti, J. Di Martino, D. Ruch

 Department of Advanced Materials and Structures, Centre de Recherche Public Henri Tudor, 66 Rue de Luxembourg, L-4221 Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg

slm = standard liter per minute.

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 133(3), 030903 (Jun 23, 2011) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004156 History: Received May 27, 2010; Revised March 14, 2011; Published June 23, 2011; Online June 23, 2011

In this study, nitrogen plasma treatment at atmospheric pressure was used to modify the surface of polylactic acid (PLA), especially its low surface energy and wettability, which do not favor the interface adhesion with another material when blended. The dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) configuration was selected. Treatment time was varied, and induced chemical and topographical surface modifications were assessed. Attention was first focused on the effect of the treatment duration on the hydrophilicity and the topography of PLA. Results showed that plasma treatment enhanced the PLA surface hydrophilicity. The overall surface roughness was also found to be increased. Moreover, both properties rose with increasing treatment time. Thus, according to the Wenzel’s relation, the surface roughening contributed to the enhancement of the PLA hydrophilicity generated by plasma treatment. Then, the chemical surface changes induced by specific plasma activation were studied. Analyses pointed out the incorporation of hydrophilic groups such as nitrogen functional species after treatment. The stability of this treatment under air was also investigated: measurements showed that the hydrophobic recovery mainly occurred the first hours of storage.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Skeleton formula of polylactic acid

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Figure 2

Schematic experimental set-up of the DBD

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Figure 3

AFM pictures of the reference (a) and plasma-treated PLA (b)—treatment time set to 337.5 s. Vertical scale is identical for both pictures.

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Figure 4

WLI images of the reference (a) and plasma-treated PLA with varying treatment times: 112.5 s (b), 225 s (c), 337.5 s (d), and 450 s (e). Vertical scale is identical for all pictures.

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Figure 5

Variation of water contact angle on plasma-treated PLA films as a function of treatment time (the reference corresponds to a treatment time of 0 s)

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Figure 6

Variations of surface energy and its components as a function of treatment time (the reference corresponds to a treatment time of 0 s)

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Figure 7

Global XPS spectra of the reference (a) and the “OC” plasma-treated PLA (b)

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Figure 8

C 1s XPS spectra of the reference (a) and the “OC” plasma-treated PLA (b)

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Figure 9

Variation of water contact angle as a function of ageing time

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