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Ethylene/1-hexene copolymers synthesized with a single-site catalyst: Crystallization analysis fractionation, modeling, and reactivity ratio estimation

Authors

  • Deborah M. Sarzotti,

    1. Institute for Polymer Research, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada
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  • João B. P. Soares,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute for Polymer Research, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada
    • Institute for Polymer Research, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada
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  • Alexander Penlidis

    1. Institute for Polymer Research, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada
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Abstract

A series of poly(ethylene-co-1-hexene) samples made with rac-ethylene bis(indenyl)zirconium dichloride/methylaluminoxane were analyzed by crystallization analysis fractionation (CRYSTAF). The nine samples had comonomer contents of 0–4.2 mol % 1-hexene with a narrow range of molecular weights (34,000–39,000 g/mol). Because all the copolymer samples had narrow, unimodal chemical composition distributions, they were ideal as calibration standards for CRYSTAF. A linear calibration curve was constructed relating the peak crystallization temperature from CRYSTAF operated at a cooling rate of 0.1 °C/min and the comonomer content as determined by 13C NMR. Reactivity ratios for ethylene and 1-hexene were estimated by the fitting of reactant liquid-phase compositional data to the Mayo–Lewis equation. It was found that a value of the 1-hexene reactivity ratio could not be unequivocally determined from the set of samples analyzed because the range of comonomer incorporation was too narrow. Stockmayer's bivariate distribution was used to model the fractionation process in CRYSTAF, and although a good fit to experimental CRYSTAF profiles was attained, the model did not fully describe the underlying crystallization phenomena. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Polym Sci Part B: Polym Phys 40: 2595–2611, 2002

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