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Chain structure and mechanical properties of polyethylene/polypropylene/poly(ethylene-co-propylene)in-reactor alloys synthesized with a spherical Ziegler–Natta catalyst by gas-phase polymerization

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Abstract

Two polyethylene/polypropylene/poly(ethylene-co-propylene) in-reactor alloy samples with a good polymer particle morphology were synthesized by sequential multistage gas-phase polymerization with a spherical Ziegler–Natta catalyst. The alloys showed excellent mechanical properties, including both toughness and stiffness. With temperature-gradient extraction fractionation, both alloys were fractionated into five fractions. The chain structures of the fractions were studied with Fourier transform infrared, 13C-NMR, and thermal analysis. The alloys were mainly composed of polyethylene, polyethylene-b-polypropylene block copolymer, and polypropylene. There also were minor amounts of an ethylene–propylene segmented copolymer with very low crystallinity and an ethylene–propylene random copolymer. The block copolymer fraction accounted for more than 44 wt % of the alloys. The coexistence of these components with different structures was apparently the key factor resulting in the excellent toughness–stiffness balance of the materials. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 97: 640–647, 2005

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