The influence of chemical environment on polymers include the surface alteration as well as other deep modifications in surface layers. The surface hardening, as an effect of organic liquids on poly(methyl methacrylate): poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PMMA: PVDF), which is one of the few known miscible blends, has been detected using microhardness testing. Organic liquids like acetone, toluene, xylene and benzene were introduced on the surface of blend specimens for different durations. Vickers microhardness (𝐻v) was measured for treated and untreated specimens. The study reveals both hardening and plasticization of specimens at different exposure times. The degree of surface hardening is maximum under acetone treatment. All the specimens exhibit surface hardening at an exposure time of 1 h with all the four liquids. This feature is prominent with longer exposures for specimens with increasing content of PVDF. However, the degree of hardening decreases with the time of exposure in the respective environments. In general, acetone and toluene impart surface hardening, whereas, xylene and benzene soften the specimen. PMMA: PVDF (83 : 17) blend exhibits surface hardening under all the four treatments when compared with the respective untreated specimens.
Volume 43, 2020
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