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Polymers 2016, 8(5), 190; doi:10.3390/polym8050190

Enhanced Water Vapor Transmission through Porous Membranes Based on Melt Blending of Polystyrene Sulfonate with Polyethylene Copolymers and Their CNT Nanocomposites

1
Department of Chemistry, University of Patras, GR-265 04 Rio-Patras, Greece
2
Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas-Institute of Chemical Engineering Sciences (FORTH-ICEHT), P.O. Box 1414, GR-265 04 Rio-Patras, Greece
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lloyd M. Robeson
Received: 10 April 2016 / Revised: 26 April 2016 / Accepted: 5 May 2016 / Published: 12 May 2016
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Abstract

A novel concept for the use of an immiscible and non-meltable polymer, such as sodium polystyrene sulfonate (PSSNa), in order to prepare polyethylene non-woven breathable membranes is described. Membranes were fabricated by melt compounding of properly functionalized PE (P(E-co-AA)) and PSSNa (P(SSNa-co-GMA)) copolymers in the presence of water soluble polyethylene glycol (PEG). The inability of PSSNa derivatives to be melted was overcome by using PEG, which was easily meltable thus inducing PSSNa processability improvement. PEG was removed after membrane fabrication and therefore also acted as a porogen. Carbon nanotubes, functionalized with PSSNa moieties or alkyl groups, were also incorporated in the membranes with the aim of improving the porous connectivity and increasing the water vapor transmission rate. The morphology of the membranes was investigated through Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Water vapor transmission rate (permeation) (WVTR) measurements for the porous membranes showed increased values in comparison with the neat PE ones. A further increase of WVTR was observed with the addition of CNTs to the polymer membranes. View Full-Text
Keywords: breathable membranes; melt blending; polystyrene sulfonate; carbon nanotubes; water vapor transmission rate breathable membranes; melt blending; polystyrene sulfonate; carbon nanotubes; water vapor transmission rate
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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

Lainioti, G.C.; Bounos, G.; Voyiatzis, G.A.; Kallitsis, J.K. Enhanced Water Vapor Transmission through Porous Membranes Based on Melt Blending of Polystyrene Sulfonate with Polyethylene Copolymers and Their CNT Nanocomposites. Polymers 2016, 8, 190.

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