UHMW Ziegler–Natta polyethylene: Synthesis, crystallization, and melt behavior

Muhammad Atiqullah, Sagir Adamu, Abdul-Hamid M. Emwas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    The fabrication of normal and UHMW PE end-products involves melting and crystallization of the polymer. Therefore, the melt behavior and crystallization of as-synthesized UHMW PE, and NMW PE and E-1-hexene copolymer have been studied using a new nonisothermal crystallization model, Flory's equilibrium theory and ethylene sequence length distribution concept (SLD), Gibbs–Thompson equation, and DSC experiments. By using this approach, the effects of MW, 1-hexene incorporation, ethylene SLD, the level of undercooling θ, and crystal surface free energy D on crystallite stability, relative crystallinity α, instantaneous crystallinity χ, the crystallization kinetic triplet, crystallization entropy, and lamellar thickness distribution (LTD) have been evaluated. Consequently, this study reports insightful new results, interpretations, and explanations regarding the melting and crystallization of the aforementioned polymers. The UHMW PE results significantly differ from the NMW PE and E-1-hexene copolymer ones. Ethylene sequences shorter than the so called minimum crystallizable ethylene sequence length, irrespective of E-1-hexene copolymer MW, can also crystallize. Additionally, the polymer preparation shows that the catalyst coordination environment and symmetry, as well as achiral ethylene versus prochiral α-olefin steric encumbrance and competitive diffusion affect the synthesis of UHMW PE, particularly the corresponding UHMW copolymers.
    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)141-155
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of the Taiwan Institute of Chemical Engineers
    Volume76
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 26 2017

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