Investigation of the Interaction of Certain Low Energy Liquids with Polytetrafluoroethylene and Polyethylene and its Implications in the Contamination of Polymeric Surfaces
The interaction of some liquids with polytetrafluo-ethylene Teflon is examined, showing that low cohesive energy density liquids, characterized by low solubility parameters (Hildebrand’s δ), are absorbed in significant amounts by this polymer, as observed in the case of other polymers, including polyethylene. More stable contaminants can be formed if an absorbed liquid undergoes any chemical reaction before desorption, yielding solid, non diffusive products. The case of the interaction of Teflon and polyethylene with the organometallic, low δ liquid, iron pentacarbonyl is examined in detail and it is found that this liquid can be absorbed by the polymers and react in situ to give iron salts and oxides. Surface properties of the plastics are drastically altered, as evidenced by liquid contact angle measurements. Samples of iron oxide-contaminated Teflon were examined by electron microscopy and photo-acoustical and ESR spectra were obtained. These experiments show that the contaminant is ultrafine, superparamagnetic α- Fe2O3.
KeywordsManganese Oxide Solubility Parameter Photoacoustical Signal Mercaptoacetic Acid Iron Pentacarbonyl
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