In this investigation, the effects of surface modification by argon plasma on peel strength of woven-type ultrahigh-molecular-weight polyethylene (WUHMWPE) fibers were studied. After plasma treatment, free radicals were generated on the WUHMWPE surface and then converted to peroxide by exposure to air. The optimum free radical content for realizing high T-peel strength was 1.27× 10-9 mol/mm2 for plasma treatment at 40 W for 4 min. The plasma-treated WUHMWPE (PWUHMWPE) fiber exhibited the hydrophilic property and many anchors. Regarding bonding, the chemical bonding force significantly increased with adhesion strength between the PWUHMWPE fiber and adhesive 3M 1099. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images showed that the surface of the PWUHMWPE fibers contained many fibrils. These fibrils can provide peel strength during T-peel testing. Regarding surface modification by plasma treatment, the peel strength of the WUHMWPE surface with adhesive 3M 1099 was increased from 2.58 to 4.39 kgf/in.
Japanese Journal of Applied Physics 49(8), 08JA01(5pages)