Journal of the Chilean Chemical Society
On-line version ISSN 0717-9707
ESCUDERO ACEVEDO, MARIO; QUIJADA, RAÚL and CAMPOS VALLETTE, MARCELO. STUDY OF THE EFFECT OF BRANCHING IN DEGRADATION OF POLYETHYLENES OBTAINED VIA METALLOCENE CATALYST. J. Chil. Chem. Soc. [online]. 2008, vol.53, n.2, pp. 1490-1493. ISSN 0717-9707. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-97072008000200009.
Polyethylenes, homo and copolymers obtained via metallocene catalyst, were synthesized and used to study the effect of comonomer size and content in the main linear backbone polymer on its degradation. Homoethylene metallocene polymer, ethylene-1-hexene and ethylene-1-octadecene metallocene copolymer films were characterized and analyzed during their aging in a forced draft oven at 60 °C for one year. The polymers were characterized before and after ageing using GPC, DSC, FTIR, and tensile tests in order to detect changes in chemical structure, size, and molecular weight distribution as well as to quantify the effect of time over their useful life. As a qualitative reference parameter, the carbonyl index, the ratio of the infrared absorbance of the CO stretching band at 1715 cm-1 and the absorbance of a reference band at 718 cm-1 , was determined. Results showed that kinetic thermooxidation is related to comonomer size and content in the main backbone polymer. As comonomer size decreases or comonomer content increases, degradation rate increases. This can be observed through the scission factor (S) and carbonyl index (CI) graphs of each material which show a slope increasing related to the autocatalytic rate of oxidation.
Keywords : Thermal oxidation; Degradation; Metallocene; Polyethylene; 1-olefine; Copolymers.