Permeability of N2, Ar, He, O2, and CO2 through as-extruded amorphous and biaxially oriented polyester films: Dependence on chain mobility

E.A. McGonigle, J.J. Liggat, R.A. Pethrick, S.D. Jenkins, J.H. Daly, D. Hayward

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8 Citations (Scopus)


For as-extruded amorphous and biaxially orientated polyester films based on poly(ethylene terephthalate), poly(ethylene naphthalate), and copolymers containing poly(ethylene terephthalate) and poly(ethylene naphthalate) moieties, permeability, diffusion, and solubility coefficients are interpreted in terms of chain mobility. The influence of polymer morphology is determined by comparison of the data for as-extruded amorphous sheets and materials produced with different biaxial draw ratios. The crystallinities of the samples were assessed using differential scanning calorimetry and density measurements. Changes in mobility at a molecular level were investigated using dielectric spectroscopy and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis. The study, in conjunction with our earlier work, leads to the conclusion that the key to understanding differences in gas transport is the difference in local chain motions rather than in free volume. This was illustrated by the permeability results for He, Ar, N2, and O2 in the range of polyesters. However, the permeability of CO2 was found to require alternative explanations because of polymer-penetrant interactions. For biaxially oriented samples, the differences in diffusivity are not only due to differences in local chain motions, but also additional constraints resulting from the increased crystallinity and chain rigidity - which also act to hinder segmental mobility. The effectiveness of the reduction in permeability in the biaxially oriented films is consequently determined by the ability of the polymer chains to effectively align and form crystalline structures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2916-2929
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 5 Aug 2004


  • poly(ethylene terephthalate)
  • poly(ethylene naphthalate)
  • gas permeation
  • dielectric spectroscopy
  • chain mobility
  • polyesters
  • orientation


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