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Abstract

The effect of ultrasound on flow behaviors of metallocene-catalyzed linear low-density polyethylene (mLLDPE) melt in capillary-like die during the extrusion is investigated in this article. The rise in die temperature is found with increasing ultrasound power, especially at lower initial die temperature. At the same die temperature, the presence of ultrasound can decrease the apparent viscosity and the viscous flow activation energy of mLLDPE melt then increase its slip velocity at the capillary wall in the die. The flow behavior of mLLDPE melt is enhanced during ultrasound-assisted extrusion as the presence of ultrasound can enhance the mobility and the orientation of entangled segments. It is also found that ultrasound can break the dispersed phase of mLLDPE/polyolefin elastomer (POE) blend into small pieces thus improve the homogeneous dispersion of POE phase in mLLDPE matrix. A possible mechanism for enhanced flow behaviors of mLLDPE melt because of the presence of ultrasound is also proposed. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 2010. © 2010 Society of Plastics Engineers