Scrap poly(tetrafluoroethylene) (PTFE) was gamma irradiated under an ambient atmosphere in order to produce extensive chain scission and oxidative degradation. After irradiation the PTFE was ground into a fine powder (2 degrees -PTFE) and graft;ed with styrene (St), vinyl acetate (VAc), and 4-vinylpyridine (4-VP) by using the direct irradiation technique. The grafted PTFE were then blended with low density polyethylene (LDPE). The study covered the characterization of irradiated PTFE and grafted 2 degrees -PTFE powder with various methods. Mechanical grinding was found to reduce trapped radicals formed during the irradiation process faster than the annealing process. Grafting on 2 degrees -PTFE was followed by gravimetric analysis, TGA, and the change in the particle size of the samples. Although we reached almost 20% grafting by weight in the St and 4-VP monomers, VAc grafting was found to be maximum at around 8% by weight at the maximum absorbed dose. The addition of VAc grafted 2 degrees -PTFE into LDPE produced better final mechanical properties with a fine dispersion. However, as may be expected, the incorporation of the other two 2 degrees -PTFEs into LDPE showed low film quality and poor mechanical properties. (C) 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.