Synthesis and Characterization of Ethylene/Propylene Copolymers in the Whole Composition Range

Published in: Macromolecular Symposia, Polyoelfin Characterization- ICPC 2006, 2007
Volume 257, Pages 122-130
Authors: M. J. Caballero, I. Suarez, B. Coto, R. V. Grieken, B. Monrabal.
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The incorporation of comonomer molecules in the backbone of a homopolymer can influence the final properties of the material, decreasing its crystallinity and the melting and glass transition temperatures, and increasing its impact resistance and transparency. In the present work, ten ethylene/propylene copolymers have been synthesized using a supported metallocene catalytic system covering the whole composition range. Any desired composition was obtained by controlling the feed composition during the reaction. These synthesized copolymers have been characterized by different techniques in order to study the effect of the comonomer incorporation onto their final properties. When the comonomer content is low, the behaviour of the copolymer is similar to that of the corresponding homopolymer. Nevertheless, if the comonomer content increases, the copolymer becomes more amorphous (low crystallization temperature and soft XRD signals) and easily deformable, reaching a behaviour close to that corresponding to an elastomeric material. In order to corroborate these results the samples have been characterized by TREF and GPC-MALS. TREF analysis showed that copolymers containing less than 10% and more than 80% of ethylene are semicrystalline, with elution temperatures typical of this kind of polymers. Molecular weights are higher for homopolymers and they decrease as the comonomer concentration increases, whereas the polydispersity index keeps almost constant at the expected value for this kind of samples.

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