Surface modification of UHMW-PE fibers using atmospheric plasma

Jacqueline H. Yim, Daphne Pappas, Alexander Fridman, Giuseppe R. Palmese

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE) fibers have been used as toughening agents in fiber-reinforced polymer composites owing to their desirable mechanical properties. However, the limiting factor associated with these fibers is the poor adhesion with the polymer matrix at the interface. The lack of chemically active sites and the existence of low molecular weight species present on the surface of organic fibers contribute to the poor interfacial adhesion. Evidence of improved fiber-matrix adhesion via fiber surface treatments exists. These methods have shown to increase the wettability, induce surface roughening, and/or create chemically reactive sites for covalent bonding. In this work, surface treatments have been carried out by use of non-thermal atmospheric plasma to modify the surface properties of ultra-high molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE) fibers. The intent of this investigation is to control the type and concentration of chemical groups formed at the surface by varying treatment conditions. It was found that plasma was able to create polar reactive groups on the surfaces of the fibers. Results show that treatment conditions directly influence the degree of functionalization and surface morphology of the fibers. Chemical and physical changes were assessed using X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM).

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational SAMPE Symposium and Exhibition (Proceedings)
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventSAMPE 2008 - 52nd International SAMPE Symposium - Material and Process Innovations: Changing our World - Long Beach, CA, United States
Duration: May 18 2008May 22 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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