Investigation of molecular weight effects during the solution crystallisation of polyolefins

Brand, M. (2008-03)

Thesis (MSc (Chemistry and Polymer Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2008.


This study involved (a) the development and testing of a solution turbidity fractionation analyser (TFA) and (b) the investigation of possible molecular weight effects on solution crystallisation. To investigate the latter highly isotactic polypropylene was polymerised with a C2 symmetric metallocene catalyst. Blends were made of these homopolymers. The homopolymers as well as the blends were fractionated by means of temperature rising elution fractionation (TREF). The fractionated and unfractionated homopolymers as well as the fractionated blends were characterised by 13C NMR, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and gel permeation chromatography (GPC). The TFA was successfully developed and helped in explaining the shifting of solution crystallisation temperature that was seen when blending of the homopolymers occurred. This was done performing analyses on the machine of blends of the homopolymers. Fractions, of the homopolymers and blends, obtained from TREF were also done. Subsequent runs of blends made from the fractions obtained from TREF were also done. In the end it was shown that the shift of the solution crystallisation temperature is either due to the tacticity or the molecular weight depending on the sample.

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