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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The effects of long chain branching on the rheological properties of polymers Giumanca, Radu


Long chain branching (LCB) is a very important feature in polymer science due to its influence on the rheological properties of polymers. It has been shown that long chain branching causes strain hardening behavior in the extensional flow of polymer, feature which is not seen in linear species. A great industrial interest has been shown in a method which would detect long chain branching by a simple, yet robust method. Fifteen different samples of polypropylene (PP) of varying molecular weights (MW) and branching structures were studied. The aim was to obtain linear viscoelastic measurements using a Rheometrics System IV rheometer and compare the results to determine the effects of backbone MW, branch MW, and number of branches on the polymers' viscoelastic properties. It was discovered that the samples exhibit drastic thermal degradation, even under inert atmosphere. An antioxidant (Irganox 1010) was found to have no effect. A comparison of linear viscoelastic data yielded questionable results, perhaps suggesting a higher than expected polydispersity. Samples of comb-structure polystyrene were also studied. Linear viscoelastic data was obtained for two different series of PS, differing in MW and branch MW. By comparing with previously obtained data, it was discovered that time (~20 years) has had a small effect for most of the samples. Non-linear measurements were also obtained, and the results for the most part agree with published data. The differences, especially an extended plateau feature previously unpublished, are discussed.

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