Direct route to colloidal UHMWPE by including LLDPE in solution during homogeneous polymerization of ethylene

S. Ronca, G. Forte, A. Ailianou, J. A. Kornfield, S. Rastogi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

The usual aggregation and precipitation driven by crystallization of nascent PE during homogeneous polymerization of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) is inhibited by including linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) in the catalyst solution prior to addition of ethylene monomer. Co-crystallization of newly formed PE and dissolved LLDPE creates a polymer brush on the fold surfaces of the nascent crystallites. Consequently, aggregation is inhibited by steric stabilization. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images show that individual lamellae (approximately 10-20 nm thick) typically have lateral dimensions of 0.5 μm × 3.5 μm and form "bowtie" shaped stacks that are approximately 200-500 nm thick. This simple method for stabilizing nascent crystals against precipitation is enabling fundamental studies of their metastable "disentangled" state and may open scalable routes to compounding UHMWPE. © 2012 American Chemical Society.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1116-1120
Number of pages5
JournalACS Macro Letters
Volume1
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012
Externally publishedYes

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