Macroradical reaction in ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene in the presence of vitamin E


Free radical measurements in compression molded ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), which contained vitamin E (α-tocopherol (α-T)), was performed using electron spin resonance (ESR) technique in air at room temperature following gamma irradiation (25-32kGy) in N2. The vitamin E was incorporated into one set of samples by blending UHMWPE resin with vitamin E (1 and 10wt%), then compression molded into a solid and then irradiated. Another set of samples had vitamin E incorporated into them by diffusing vitamin E at 100°C for 2h after irradiation. Compared to a control (with no vitamin E), the vitamin E-containing UHMWPE (α-TPE) samples suffered a partial loss of PE radicals, but this loss only occurred during or immediately after irradiation (before exposure to air).Subsequently, when all blended samples were exposed to air, the remaining radicals in each sample decayed to the well-known OIR, R1 (-CH-[CH=CH-]m-) and R2 (OCH-[CH=CH-]m-) radicals. However, because of the initial loss or partial quenching, α-TPE produced a lower concentration of OIR (measured over a four-year period), but no difference was found between 1% and 10% α-TPEs. In the diffused α-TPE, similar OIR was also found when tested after four months of post-treatment exposure to air. © 2010.

Publication Title

Radiation Physics and Chemistry