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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 685829, 8 pages
Research Article

Functionalization of Natural Cork Composite with Microcapsules after Plasma Treatment

1Department of Textile Engineering, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Center of Technology, 59078-970 Natal, RN, Brazil
2Department of Textile Engineering, University of Minho, Azurem Campus, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal

Received 28 February 2014; Accepted 7 April 2014; Published 13 May 2014

Academic Editor: Vladimir Tsukruk

Copyright © 2014 Fernando Ribeiro Oliveira et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This research aims to study the chemical and physical modifications of natural cork agglomerate after plasma treatment using dielectric barrier discharge (DBD). Different experimental techniques were used to evaluate the surface alterations of the pretreated samples with DBD plasma, as well as the adsorption and adhesion of microcapsules in the substrate, namely, static and dynamic contact angle, surface energy, energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Plasma discharge greatly increases the wettability and surface energy of the samples. Chemical and physical analyses of the cork agglomerate confirmed considerable surface modification. All these surface changes of the cork after plasma treatment led to a remarkable increase in microcapsule adsorption and adhesion when compared with the untreated cork sample.