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Tables of Polymer Surface Characteristics

Table 1: Includes CAS #s; critical surface tension and surface free energy; change in surface tension per degree Celsius (or Kelvin); equilibrium (Young's), advancing, and retreating contact angles; contact angle hysteresis; and Hansen Solubility Parameters with radius of interaction for 117 polymers.

Table 2: Includes CAS #s; total surface free energy with dispersion and polar components, as reported from polar/dispersion analyses; total surface free energy with Lipshitz—van der Waals, interaction, acid, and base components, as reported from acid—base analyses; and Hansen Solubility Parameters with radius of interaction for 117 polymers.

Table 3: Brief survey of contact angle and critical surface tension data, with CAS numbers, for 38 selected polymers.

These tables summarize data drawn from over 300 separate sources, spanning over 60 years of polymer research. Click here to see the complete list of references.

While many experimental reports do not specify the temperature of the substrate, environment, or test liquid, it is clear that testing was performed under typical laboratory conditions — in all such cases, we have assumed the temperature to be in the 20 to 25oC range. Given the relatively flat slope of surface tension vs. temperature (most polymers will change by one mJ/m2 over about 12-16oC), and the inherent error margins reflected in the data, the effect of exact test temperatures can largely be ignored.

Data for each polymer in tables 1 and 2 is presented as the average (arithmetic mean) value in the first row, with the standard deviation and number of data points (in parentheses) shown in the second row. Averages are taken over a variety of methodologies, whether empirical, theoretical, calculated, or extrapolated. In all cases, details can be found in the chart for the polymer in question.

In some cases, we have reported results in the individual polymer charts which have been excluded from the summary data calculation due to extreme variance from typical reports — these instances, which are presented for review purposes, are clearly identified by footnote.

The data in these tables incorporates the information which was available to us at the time these pages were last updated. Wherever possible, these citations are drawn from original research. In many cases, however, the only source of information we had available was from a compilation of experimental data, with references to multiple original sources; in these instances, the citation listed here is to the compilation.

The sources employed are diverse and interdisciplinary, which will hopefully make these synopses of broad interest. On the other hand, we realize that this represents only a small percentage of the total sum of knowledge regarding the surface properties of these polymers, and hope to continue extending this database as time goes on. We actively solicit new contributions — please e-mail us if you have experimental results to share; data from sources not yet cited here; or comments or corrections on what we have already catalogued.

You can link to detailed data for any polymer by clicking on the polymer name in any of the three summary tables, or by using the link to the full list of polymers included on the right margin of this page.

The data in each polymer chart is grouped into six basic categories: Critical surface tension as determined by the Zisman method or by the wetting tension method, per ASTM Std. D-2578; contact angle measurement; direct measurement of the surface tension of the polymer melt, extrapolated to 20o-25oC; calculated from various molecular and thermodynamic constants; other methods which do not clearly fit into any of the above; and data whose derivation is unknown. The contact angle section is divided into two subsections — the first lists actual contact angles with water, and the second shows surface energy and critical surface tension estimates calculated from the contact angles of various test liquids.

Please note that while these tables are all deliberately user-friendly and readily printable, they are strictly protected under copyright law, and may not be reproduced in any format for any commercial purpose without permission from Diversified Enterprises. Any references to data published in our summary tables should accurately cite the source as Diversified Enterprises, preferably with a reference or link to the exact url cited.

And finally, while every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all tables and charts, this data is presented specifically for review purposes, and we cannot be held responsible for any consequences arising from errors or omissions.

Russell E. Smith, President
June 15, 2024