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Polymers 2014, 6(11), 2764-2783; doi:10.3390/polym6112764

Water Repellence and Oxygen and Water Vapor Barrier of PVOH-Coated Substrates before and after Surface Esterification

Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV, Giggenhauser Strasse 35, Freising 85354, Germany
Chair of Food Packaging Technology, Technische Universität München, Weihenstephaner Steig 22, Freising 85354, Germany
BT3 Technologies, Impasse Bellevue 8, 38240 Meylan, France
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Applied Science Kempten, Bahnhofstraße 61, Kempten 87435, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 4 August 2014 / Revised: 20 October 2014 / Accepted: 21 October 2014 / Published: 3 November 2014
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This study investigates chemical grafting with fatty acid chlorides as a method for the surface modification of hydrophilic web materials. The resulting changes in the water repellence and barrier properties were studied. For this purpose, different grades of polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) were coated on regenerated cellulose films (“cellophane”) and paper and then grafted with fatty acid chlorides. The PVOH grades varied in their degree of hydrolysis and average molecular weight. The surface was esterified with two fatty acid chlorides, palmitoyl (C16) and stearoyl chloride (C18), by chemical grafting. The chemical grafting resulted in water-repellent surfaces and reduced water vapor transmission rates by a factor of almost 19. The impact of the surface modification was greater for a higher degree of hydrolysis of the polyvinyl alcohol and for shorter fatty acid chains. Although the water vapor barrier for palmitoyl-grafted PVOH was higher than for stearoyl-grafted PVOH, the contact angle with water was lower. Additionally, it was shown that a higher degree of hydrolysis led to higher water vapor barrier improvement factors after grafting. Furthermore, the oxygen permeability decreased after grafting significantly, due to the fact that the grafting protects the PVOH against humidity when the humidity is applied on the grafted side. It can be concluded that the carbon chain length of the fatty acid chlorides is the limiting factor for water vapor adsorption, but the grafting density is the bottleneck for water diffusing in the polymer. View Full-Text
Keywords: poly(vinyl alcohol); chemical grafting; esterification; barrier properties; water repellence poly(vinyl alcohol); chemical grafting; esterification; barrier properties; water repellence

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Schmid, M.; Sängerlaub, S.; Miesbauer, O.; Jost, V.; Werthan, J.; Stinga, C.; Samain, D.; Stramm, C.; Noller, K.; Müller, K. Water Repellence and Oxygen and Water Vapor Barrier of PVOH-Coated Substrates before and after Surface Esterification. Polymers 2014, 6, 2764-2783.

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