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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter September 6, 2019

Surface damage characterization of photodegraded low-density polyethylene by means of friction measurements

Toshio Igarashi, Soichiro Ohno, Sayaka Oda, Satoru Hirosawa, Yusuke Hiejima ORCID logo and Koh-hei Nitta ORCID logo


Friction measurements have been carried out to characterize surface damages during photodegradation of low-density polyethylene. The average and mean deviation of the friction coefficients increase with the irradiation time in the early stage of photodegradation processes, indicating the increase in the surface roughness, whereas the mechanical properties remain essentially unchanged. In the following stage, where the ductile-brittle transition takes place, the mean deviation of the friction coefficients shows an appreciable decrease with maintaining almost constant average values, suggesting that the surface becomes more homogeneous. Beyond the ductile-brittle transition, both of the average and mean deviation of the friction coefficients gradually increase with the irradiation time, indicating further enhancement of surface roughness, followed by formation of surface cracks. The soundness of the friction measurements is confirmed by comparing with optical measurements of the surface roughness, and it is suggested that the present method gives a convenient and sensitive method of detection for degradation in polymeric materials.

Funding source: Japan Society for the Promotion of Science

Award Identifier / Grant number: 16K14456

Funding statement: This work was financially supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (KAKENHI; Funder Id:, grant no. 16K14456).


The authors are thankful to Mr. Y. Yonezawa (Adeka Corp.) and Prof. M. Yamaguchi (Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST)) for performing the UV exposure tests and the white light interferometric microscope measurements, respectively.

  1. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflict of interests regarding this article.


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Received: 2019-03-06
Accepted: 2019-08-06
Published Online: 2019-09-06
Published in Print: 2019-09-25

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston