Importance of the Surface Layer for Polymer Materials

Ludomir Ślusarski 2Dariusz M. Bielinski 1

1. Russian Academy of Sciences, Ural Division, Institute of Metal Physics, 18 S.Kovalevskaya str., GSP-170, Ekaterinburg 620219, Russian Federation
2. Technical University of Łódź, Institute of Polymers, Stefanowskiego 12/16, Łódź 90-924, Poland


L. Slusarski, D. Bielinski, P. Gl/ab, L. Kaczmarek, Institute of
Polymers, Technical University of L/ódz, Stefanowskiego 12/16, 90-924
L/ódz, Poland
The role of the surface layer of polymer materials is often
underestimated, despite its different structure and properties in
comparison to the bulk. They result from the surface migration, driven
by specific interactions, crystallization, chemical reactions or
temperature gradient. It is not seldom that very thin surface layer
influences significantly behaviour and durability of polymer
materials. The paper presents data on the surface segregation in
polymer blends, blooming of low molecular weight components in
elastomers, gradient of crosslink density in rubber vulcanizates and
photocured polyester resins. The observed phenomena aredefined and
discussed from the point of view of polymer technology and
exploitation. Apart blooming of low molecular weight additives, the
surface segregation of polymer fractions has been revealed in polymer
blends. The phenomenon is known from practice, nevertheless its
quantitative description is yet to be elaborated, despite common
agreement on its thermodynamical background. The segregated low
molecular weight substance influences the surface geometry, interacts
with the bulk substrate or crystallize on the surface, producing more
or less concise (physical protection against e.g. ozone) and more or
less elastic (durability under dynamic conditions) thin layer,
reaching from several up to tens of monolayers. Another phenomenon
concerns gradient of hardness detected on the surface layer profile of
rubber vulcanizates or photocured polyester resin. Increased hardness
of the surface, makes it stiffer than the bulk of polymer, what is
likely to be responsible for initiation of cracks or decohesion,
producing wear or delamination. The work was financed by KBN- Grant
PBZ -013/T08/39.

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Presentation: poster at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2002, by Ludomir Ślusarski
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2002

Submitted: 2003-02-16 17:33
Revised:   2009-06-08 12:55
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