This study describes the effect of electron radiation on the nano-mechanical properties of surface layers of selected polyamide (PA) types. Electron radiation initiates the cross-linking of macromolecules in the polyamide structure, leading to the creation of a 3D network which fundamentally changes the properties of the tested polymers. Selected types of polyamide (PA 6, PA 66 and PA 9T) were exposed to various intensities of electron radiation (33 kGy, 66 kGy, 99 kGy, 132 kGy, 165 kGy and 198 kGy). The cross-linked polyamides’ surface properties were measured by means of the modern nano-indentation technique (Depth Sensing Indentation; DSI), which operates on the principle of the immediate detection of indenter penetration depth in dependence on the applied load. The evaluation was preformed using the Oliver–Pharr method. The effect of electron radiation on the tested polyamides manifested itself in the creation of a 3D network, which led to an increase of surface layer properties, such as indentation hardness, elastic modulus, creep and temperature resistance, by up to 93%. The increase of temperature and mechanical properties substantially broadens the field of application of these materials in technical practice, especially when higher temperature resistance is required. The positive changes to the nano-mechanical properties as well as mechanical and temperature capabilities instigated by the cross-linking process were confirmed by the gel volume test. These measurements lay the foundation for a detailed study of this topic, as well as for a more effective means of modifying chosen properties of technical polyamide products by radiation.
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