Compressibility of polyethylene melts at low pressures



Branched polyethylene has quite different rheological and physical properties from its linear homologue. Despite their many different properties, the densities of linear and branched polyethylene melts at atmospheric pressure have been reported to be identical at all temperatures. However, it was not known whether their melt densities at a given temperature would also be identical at all pressures. In this investigation, the compressibilities of one linear and two branched polyethylene melts at 160°C, 190°C, and 220°C were studied, and it was found that they had an identical compressibility over the present experimental pressure range of ca. 0–455 psi (0–31 atm). Both the specific volume and the density at each temperature could be very accurately expressed as linear functions of pressure for this pressure range. Time-dependent compressive property was not observed within the present low pressure range.