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Abstract

The purpose of this work is to evaluate a new tetra-functional peroxide initiator and offer comparisons with a di-functional peroxide commonly used in the production of controlled-rheology polypropylene (CRPP) resins. CRPP resins have been produced by reactive processing in a batch mixer by using various equivalent amounts of a tetra-functional and a conventional di-functional peroxide at two different temperatures. At a lower processing temperature (200°C), the chain length of CRPP decreases with increasing initiator concentration of the di-functional initiator, while in the case of tetra-functional initiator system, the change of chain length is larger than that in the di-functional initiator system. At a higher temperature (230°C), the observation is reversed. The molecular weight reduction increases with initiator concentration level for the tetra-functional initiator, while the di-functional initiator causes larger reduction in the molecular weight without any obvious relation to the initiator concentration level. Rheological measurements show results consistent with those from gel permeation chromatography (GPC). The observations are explained based on the competition between chain scission and chain extension caused by the single and multiple radicals generated from the initiators. No evidence of architectural change in the CRPP molecules such as branching and crosslinking has been observed in both GPC and rheological measurements. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 2009. © 2009 Society of Plastics Engineers