Dynamic and transient shear and elongation flow experiments along with gel permeation chromatography (GPC) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis are performed on linear low-density polyethylenes (LLDPEs) irradiated at doses below 25 kGy. GPC data indicate no changes in the molar mass distribution, and there are almost no changes in melt and crystallization temperatures, likewise. Contrary, dynamic shear rheological behavior including thermorheological complexity, type of reduced van Gurp-Palmen curves, and zero shear-rate viscosities all disclose growing levels of long-chain branching with irradiation dose. An inverse tube model is developed for binary blend of linear and star chains and used to extract the fraction of the branched components. Modeling results reveal progressive increase in the length and fraction of star chains, as evidenced by appearance of an anomalous double overshoot in the transient shear viscosities. Detection of strain hardening in extensional stress growth coefficient data, well-quantified by molecular stress function model, is also in agreement with the predictions of tube model.
Rheologica Acta – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 3, 2017
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