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A continuum of molecular weight distributions applicable to linear homopolymers

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Abstract

An array or continuum of molecular weight distributions was set up, based upon the numerical solutions found for the theoretical log-normal (LN) and generalized exponential (Gex) distribution functions, for a range of Mw/Mn = H ratios. For the Gex distributions, m > 0 in the continuum, and the theoretical Schulz–Zimm and Tung–Weibull distributions, in which m ≥ 1 for H ≤ 31, are located within the continuum. The LN distribution is the broadest, and the Gex-related distributions become narrower as the numerical value of m increases. From literature data for polystyrene, poly(vinyl chloride), linear polyethylene, and polypropylene, one can assign to these polymers specific molecular weight distributions that fall within the continuum.

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