Authors Ndiripo, A. ; Lamola, H. ; Ndlovu, P.Z. ; Lederer, A. ; Pasch, H. ; van Reenen, A. J.
Title Reverse engineering of chemically similar bimodal high density polyethylenes: a comprehensive study using advanced chromatographic techniques
Date 01.09.2022
Number 60925
Abstract Bimodal high-density polyethylene (bHDPE) is a complex, multicomponent polyethylene (PE) material whose synthesis in a multistage process can be challenging. Three bHDPEs with good and bad end-use properties are reverse engineered using advanced analytical techniques. Average chemical composition is determined using 13C NMR and 1-butene is identified as the comonomer for the good resin (bHDPE 1) while 1-hexene is the comonomer in bHDPE 2 and 3. The presence of comonomer in the high molar mass fractions of the samples is shown using high-temperature triple-detection size exclusion chromatography (HT-SEC-d3). Chemical composition separation using high-temperature interaction chromatography (HT-IC) is achieved using porous graphitic carbon (PGC) and silica stationary phases. Some problems in temperature gradient interaction chromatography (TGIC) on PGC are overcome by using a non-adsorptive stationary phase, enabling better separation and visualization of homopolymer and copolymer components. Coupling HT-SEC in 2D liquid chromatography (2D-LC) analyses at high temperatures reveals the presence of a larger copolymer component in bHDPE 1 at high elution volume. In contrast, bHDPE 2 and bHDPE 3 have copolymer components at low elution volumes, indicating poor comonomer distribution in the copolymer component which ultimately explains the poor mechanical properties at similar comonomer contents.
Publisher Macromolecular Materials and Engineering
Citation Macromolecular Materials and Engineering 307 (2022) 2200149

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