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    Atmospheric pressure plasma treatment of amorphous polyethylene terephthalate for enhanced heatsealing properties
    An atmospheric pressure plasma system has been used to treat amorphous polyethylene terephthalate (APET) to enhance its heatseal properties to a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film. The plasma treated APET sheet material was thermoformed into trays for use in the food packaging industry and heatsealed to a PET film. The heatsealing properties of the resulting package were assessed using the burst test technique. It was found that the plasma treatment significantly enhanced the adhesive properties and an increase in burst pressure from 18 to 35 kPa was observed for plasma treated food trays. The APET surface chemistry was assessed after plasma treatment where it was found that the plasma treatment had affected an increase in oxygen and an addition of nitrogen species to the polymer surface. The surface roughness (Ra) of the plasma treated samples was also observed to increase from 0.4 to 0.9 nm after plasma treatment.
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