Rheologica Acta

, Volume 57, Issue 5, pp 377–388 | Cite as

Classification of thermorheological complexity for linear and branched polyolefins

  • Zhi-Chao Yan
  • Florian J. Stadler


Thermorheological complexity in polyolefins has been reported many times but so far it has not been systematically investigated. Here, a classification of the different types of thermorheologically complex behavior is proposed, which categorize the available data in five different types and describe key characteristics. These definitions are based on polyethylene, but other polymers show similar patterns for materials with comparable branching structure. Linear materials are thermorheologically simple as long as many very long short-chain branches do not introduce phase separation. Sparsely branched materials show the most significant thermorheological complexity, with significant shape changes of rheological functions with temperature, while higher amounts of branching (such as trees or combs) reduce thermorheological complexity and increase Ea at the same time. Low-density polyethylene shows a significant modulus shift at different temperatures probably due to excessive low molecular components.


Thermorheological behavior Thermorheological complexity Long-chain branching 


WLF relation

Williams-Landel-Ferry relation

VFTH relation

Vogel-Fulcher-Tammann-Hesse relation


glass transition temperature


time-temperature superposition


low-density polyethylene


linear low-density polyethylene


high-density polyethylene


long-chain branch(-ed/-ing/-es)


short-chain branch(-ed/-ing/-es)


metallocenes catalyzed polyethylene












hydrogenated polybutadiene


semifluorinated tetrafluoroethylene-hexafluoropropylene-vinylidenfluoride copolymer


magnitude of the complex shear modulus


storage modulus


loss modulus


phase angle


angular frequency


temperature dependent shift factor


oscillatory deformation amplitude


activation energy determined according to Arrhenius relation


relaxation strength


relaxation time


characteristic phase angle (Trinkle et al. 2002)


phase angle at the maximum Ea determined from δ (Stadler et al. 2016)


zero shear-rate viscosity



The authors would like to thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21574086), Shenzhen Sci & Tech research grant (ZDSYS201507141105130), and Shenzhen City Science and Technology Plan Project (JCYJ20160520171103239).


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Materials Science and Engineering, Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Polymer Science and Technology, Guangdong Research Center for Interfacial Engineering of Functional Materials, Nanshan District Key Lab for Biopolymers and Safety EvaluationShenzhen UniversityShenzhenPeople’s Republic of China

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