Compatibilization of iPP/HDPE Blends with PE-g-iPP Graft Copolymers

Kristine Klimovica, Sanshui Pan, Ting Wei Lin, Xiayu Peng, Christopher J. Ellison, Anne M. Lapointe, Frank S. Bates, Geoffrey W. Coates

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The compatibilization of polyethylene (PE) and isotactic polypropylene (iPP) blends is of particular interest due to the challenges associated with recycling these plastics from mixed waste streams. Polyethylene-graft-iPP copolymers (PE-g-iPP) were prepared using a grafting-through strategy by copolymerization of ethylene with allyl-terminated iPP macromonomers in the presence of a hafnium pyridylamido catalyst. Graft copolymers with a variety of graft lengths (Mn = 6-28 kg/mol), graft numbers, and graft spacings were prepared. These graft copolymers were melt-blended with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and iPP (iPP/HDPE = 30/70 w/w), and the blend properties were evaluated by tensile testing. The blends showed enhanced tensile strength at 5 and 1 wt % loading, with higher tensile strength observed for larger block numbers and graft lengths. These results indicate that graft copolymers are efficient compatibilizers for blends of HDPE and iPP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1161-1166
Number of pages6
JournalACS Macro Letters
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 18 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the NSF Center for Sustainable Polymers (CHE-1901635). This work made use of the NMR Facility at Cornell University and is supported, in part, by the NSF under Award CHE-1531632. Some of the experiments were conducted in the Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which receives partial support from NSF through the MRSEC program.

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© 2020 American Chemical Society.

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