Optical vs. direct sorption and swelling measurements for the study of stiff-chain polymer-penetrant interactions

Dimitrios Stamatialis, Matthias Wessling, M. Sanopoulou, H. Strathmann, J.H. Petropoulos

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This work involves interferometric `optical thickness¿ and refractive index measurements performed in an optical thickness meter (OTM), on supported cellulose acetate (CA) films equilibrated with various activities of methylene chloride (MC) vapor. The relevant equilibrium sorption and volume swelling isotherms were determined by application of the Claussius-Mossotti equation on the assumption that these films swell unidimensionally along the thickness direction, and were compared with corresponding direct equilibrium sorption (weight gain), elongation and thickness dilation measurements on similar free films performed in a vacuum sorption/swelling apparatus (VSA) and complemented with refractive index data. Combined elongation and thickness dilation data from the VSA showed that free glass-cast CA films exhibit pronounced swelling anisotropy. The said anisotropy, although it cannot be completely eliminated, by conditioning at high degrees of swelling, does not appear to affect the extent of volume swelling significantly, thus permitting quantitative comparison of sorption and swelling isotherms determined by the VSA and the OTM. Such comparison showed satisfactory agreement between these two sets of results up to an MC uptake of ca. 0.4 gMC/cm3 of dry CA corresponding to a degree of swelling of ca. 0.2. Increasing discrepancies are observed at higher MC concentrations, which are attributable to breakdown of the assumption used that the supported films swell unidimensionally along the thickness direction. The present CA-MC volume swelling data exhibit the negative deviation from volume additivity on mixing typical glassy polymers
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)75-84
JournalJournal of membrane science
Issue number130
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • IR-11483
  • METIS-106185

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