Study of the compositional heterogeneity of ethylene–hexene-1 copolymers by thermal fractionation technique by means of differential scanning calorimetry
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- Matsko, M.A., Vanina, M.P., Echevskaya, L.G. et al. J Therm Anal Calorim (2013) 113: 923. doi:10.1007/s10973-012-2773-9
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The successive self-nucleation/annealing technique (SSA) by differential scanning calorimetry has been applied to study the heterogeneity of ethylene–hexene-1 copolymers produced with supported catalytic systems of different compositions: highly active supported Ziegler–Natta (Z–N) catalysts—a titanium–magnesium catalyst TiCl4/MgCl2 (TMC) and a vanadium–magnesium catalyst VCl4/MgCl2 (VMC), a supported zirconocene catalyst Me2Si(Ind)2ZrCl2/SiO2 (MAO), and a chromium-oxide catalyst CrO3/SiO2. Comparative data by SSA technique with the same temperature program were obtained for copolymers differed by MWD from narrow to very broad (Mw/Mn = 2.4–54) and short chain branching distribution from narrow (zirconocene catalyst) to very broad (TMC and chromium oxide catalysts). It is demonstrated that copolymers produced with the zirconocene catalyst have the narrowest melting range and do not contain thick lamellae. The widest lamella thickness distribution has been found for a copolymer produced with the chromium-oxide catalyst. Copolymers produced with the supported Z–N catalysts are ranked in the middle with a more narrow lamella thickness distribution for copolymer prepared with VMC as compared with the one produced with TMC. The SSA results are compared with the data on copolymer fractionation by TREF. It is shown that these methods give a good correlation for copolymers with narrow short-chain branching distribution produced with the supported zirconocene catalyst. In the case of copolymers produced with TMC, TREF yields a higher content of the high-branched fractions.