Journal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics, Vol.34, No.10, 1809-1813, 1996
The Critical Molecular-Weight for Resisting Slow Crack-Growth in a Polyethylene
An ethylene-hexene copolymer was fractionated into five fractions and the density of short-chain branches was measured for each fraction. The slow crack growth behavior was measured on each fraction by sandwiching the small amount of fractionated resin of about 0.2 g between polyethylene grips. The resistance to slow crack growth was negligible for the three fractions whose Mw was less than 1.5 X 10(5). For the fourth fraction with Mw greater than 1.5 X 10(5), the resistance to slow crack growth was very high, being greater than that for the whole resin even though its density of short-chain branches was less than that of the whole resin. It is concluded that a molecular weight greater than 1.5 X 10(5) is required to create the number of tie molecules that is necessary to produce a high resistance to slow crack growth in this particular copolymer.