Crosslinked and non-crosslinked polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) films [RX-PTFE and V-PTFE films, respectively], were irradiated in air at room temperature using γ-rays from a 60Co source. The irradiated films were grafted with styrene in liquid phase. The grafting of styrene into PTFE films was proved by FT-IR spectroscopy. The influence of the reaction temperature and pre-irradiation doses on the resulted degree of grafting was discussed. The grafting speed and the degree of grafting were determined by the reaction temperature and pre-irradiation doses. The apparent activation energies were calculated as 39.7 kJ/mol for RX-PTFE films and 59.5 kJ/mol for V-PTFE films. The dependence index on absorbed doses at pre-irradiation for RX-PTFE films is 0.66, and for V-PTFE films it is 1.57. The geometric size changes of the grafted films were measured and discussed. Interestingly, the thickness of the grafted films was strongly influenced by the reaction temperature. The tensile strength and the elongation at break of the non-grafted and grafted RX-PTFE and V-PTFE films were measured. The grafted films then are sulfonated by chlorosulfonic acid for polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) applications and the highest IEC value gained is over 3. The analysis of the sulfonated films are now in progress.
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