Metallocene-catalyzed, low-density and linear low-density polyethylenes with similar melt indexes were used to investigate how side-chain structures influence the elongation viscosity and viscoelastic properties. The viscoelastic properties were determined with a rotation rheometer, while the elongation viscosities were acquired by using isothermal fiber spinning. The Phan-Thien-Tanner (PTT) model was also used to understand how the side-chain structure affects the elongation behavior. Experimental results demonstrate that the log G′ vs. log G″ plot can qualitatively describe the effects of the side chain branch on the rheological properties of polyethylene melts. According to the results determined by the PTT model, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) has low elongation viscosities at high strain rates. This low elongation viscosity can be attributed to the fact that LDPE has high shear thinning behavior. The long-chain branching tends to increase entanglements, thereby enhancing the storage modulus, elongation viscosity and shear-thinning behaviors. Uniform side-chain distribution lowers the entanglements, which results in a low storage modulus, elongation viscosity and shear-thinning behavior.
Polymer engineering and science 42(11), pp.2213-2221