Principles of Our Sulfonation Process

About Sulfonation

Sulfonation alters the chemical structure of a polymeric substrate by introducing sulfonic groups on its surface region.

Sulfonation of plastics is a process of treating the surface region with sulfur trioxide gas and various neutralization agents to modify the molecular structure of the surface region of the plastic. Sulfonation is effective on a very wide variety of polymers. Sulfonation is therefore well suited to be performed after the plastic article is manufactured. Such approach allows the manufacturer to choose the optimum polymer type based on the product performance requirements such as strength processing, temperature tolerance and cost. Only after the performance characteristics of the plastics are evaluated against the needs of the product, is it necessary to consider its compatibility with sulfonation.

In the sulfonation process, SO3 bonds to the C atom present in almost all polymers and forms: C-SO3H. This a process generally described as the sulfur atom (S) bonding to the carbon atom (C) in the carbon backbone of the polymer. Essentially all commercially available plastics and films contain either a CH or an NH bond and are treatable via sulfonation. For NH containing materials, NSO3H, results as opposed to C-SO3H.

Chemistry of Sulfonation

Sulfonation is Compatable with Wide Variety of Plastics

  • Hydrocarbons
  • Aromatics
  • Amines, Alcohols
  • Cellulose-based
  • Silanes
  • Neutralized as NH4+ salt