Covalent adaptable networks and thermosets of multi-block ethylene/1-octene copolymers made by free-radical processing: Effects of melt flow index and crystallinity on thermomechanical properties and reprocessability

Logan M. Fenimore, Boran Chen, Yixuan Chen, Stephanie M. Barbon, Hayley A. Brown, Evelyn Auyeung, Colin Li Pi Shan, John M. Torkelson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chain shuttling polymerization has facilitated the rapid development of olefin block copolymers (OBCs) such as ethylene/1-octene multi-block copolymers. The properties of OBCs stem from various parameters such as average block length, number of blocks per chain, etc., which lead to complexity associated with establishing structure–property relationships between precursor OBCs and properties of cross-linked OBCs. Additionally, permanent cross-linking of OBCs sacrifices their recyclability, and cross-linked OBCs capable of being reprocessed have seldom been reported. Here, permanently cross-linked OBCs (OBCXs) and dynamically cross-linked OBCs, or OBC covalent adaptable networks (CANs), were synthesized by melt-state reactive processing of neat OBCs with various crystallinities and melt flow indices (MFIs). The OBC CANs are capable of dialkylamino disulfide dynamic chemistry via the grafting of bis(2,2,6,6-tetramethyl-4-piperidyl methacrylate) disulfide, or BiTEMPS methacrylate, cross-linkers onto OBC backbone chains. Thermomechanical characterizations indicate that increasing crystallinity and decreasing MFI in precursor OBCs lead to higher cross-link densities in OBCXs and OBC CANs. Dynamically cross-linking OBCs into CANs also significantly improves their elevated-temperature creep resistance. Stress relaxation results of OBC CANs indicate an increased average relaxation time with greater cross-link density. Distinct from other CANs capable of dialkylamino disulfide chemistry, the stress relaxation behaviors of OBC CANs of higher cross-link density show evident dependence on their network viscoelasticities. In OBC CANs of lower cross-link density, the dynamic chemistry more strongly governs their stress relaxation behaviors. Finally, the OBC CANs exhibit full cross-link density and thermomechanical property recovery after reprocessing, whereas the OBCXs cannot be reprocessed due to their irreversible cross-links.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112661
JournalEuropean Polymer Journal
Volume202
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 5 2024

Keywords

  • Covalent adaptable network
  • Dynamic chemistry
  • Octene
  • Olefin block copolymer
  • Reprocessing
  • Thermoset

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

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