Gas-transport properties of ethylene/propylene/carbon monoxide polyketone terpolymer



The demand for heat-stable and easily processable polymeric materials with good gasbarrier properties is becoming more and more important due to the advent of new technological applications in the field of food packaging. A renewed interest has arisen for a polyketone class of polymers, which seems to fulfill these requirements. Our attention has been focused on a polyketone terpolymer (0.93 : 0.07 : 1 ethylene/propylene/carbon monoxide) in order to determine the transport properties and to relate them to the polymer structure. Permeability tests have been performed at three different temperatures (25, 35, and 45°C) with three different gases (helium, oxygen, and carbon dioxide). Permeabilities, diffusivities, and solubilities have been evaluated. Their dependence on temperature was interpreted on the basis of permeation and diffusion apparent activation energies (Ep and Ed) and of heats of solution (ΔHs). The investigated polymer has been found to be rubbery at the test temperature (glass transition temperature is about 17°C), but the detected permeabilities are comparable to those of glassy polymers widely used for packaging applications. The experimentally determined diffusion coefficients have been related to the semicrystalline nature of the polymer and to the different dimensions of the gas adopted in the investigation. The gas-solubility coefficients determined from permeability measurements were related to the force constant of the gas molecules in the Lennard-Jones (6–12) potential field equation. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.