Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is the preferred type of polyolefin for many medical and electrical applications because of its superior purity and cleanliness. However, the inferior thermo-mechanical properties as compared to, for example, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which arise because of the lower melting temperature of LDPE, constitute a significant drawback. Here, we demonstrate that the addition of minute amounts of HDPE to a LDPE resin considerably improves the mechanical integrity above the melting temperature of LDPE. A combination of dynamic mechanical analysis and creep experiments reveals that the addition of as little as 1 to 2 wt% HDPE leads to complete form stability above the melting temperature of LDPE. The investigated LDPE/HDPE blend is found to be miscible in the melt, which facilitates the formation of a solid-state microstructure that features a fine distribution of HDPE-rich lamellae. The absence of creep above the melting temperature of LDPE is rationalized with the presence of tie chains and trapped entanglements that connect the few remaining crystallites.
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|