Experimental measurement and numerical simulation of viscosity reduction effects in HMMPE containing a small amount of exfoliated organoclay-modified TLCP composite

Youhong Tang, Ping Gao, Lin Ye, Chengbi Zhao

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A small amount (1 wt%) of organoclay-modified thermotropic liquid crystalline polymer (TLCP) acting as a viscosity reduction agent in high molecular mass polyethylene (HMMPE) was characterized and compared with purified TLCP (1 wt%) in HMMPE at 190 °C and 230 °C, respectively, where the TLCP displayed nematic and nematic-isotropic biphase structures. In the TLCP/PE blend at 190 °C and 230 °C, dramatic reductions in viscosity were observed with significant improvement in extrudate surface smoothness and an enlarged processing window. For the organoclay-modified TLCP in PE, the viscosity reduction ability of TLCP was further enhanced with viscosity dropped by up to >98.5% and >97.4% at 190 °C and 230 °C and processing window enlarged to >700 s-1 and >900 s-1 respectively in comparison to that of PE. Moreover, yielding stress, initial transition shear rate and transition region decreased to lower magnitudes than those of the TLCP/PE blend. A phenomenological model was applied to elucidate the mechanism of organoclay, TLCP and PE conformation before and after yielding in the confined capillary environment. A binary flow pattern model was applied to successfully predict the rheological behavior of the blends at 190 °C.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)514-521
    Number of pages8
    JournalPolymer
    Volume51
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2010

    Keywords

    • Organoclay-modified thermotropic LCP
    • Polyethylene
    • Viscosity reduction

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