|Title of Invention||
|Abstract||The invention relates to novel multimodal polyethylene polymers comprising a low molecular weight fraction and a high molecular weight fraction, and having a MFR5 of greater than 0.10 g/10 min and less than or equal to 0.22 g/10 min, and a density of greater than equal to 952 kg/m3. The invention also relates to uses of the novel polymers in the production of polymeric articles, especially pipes.|
|Full Text||Polymer Composition
The present invention relates a multimodal polyethylene polymer
composition, and to its use in the production of polymeric articles,
Pipes constructed from polymer materials have a multitude of uses, such as
fluid transport, i.e. the transport of liquids or gases, e.g. water or natural
gas. During transport, it is normal for the fluid to be pressurised. Moreover,
the transported fluid may have varying temperatures, usually within the
range from about 0°C to about 50°C. Such pressurised pipes are preferably
constructed from polyolefin plastics usually unimodal or bimodal ethylene
plastics such as medium density polyethylene (MDPE; density: 0.930-0.942
g/cm3) and high density polyethylene (HDPE; density: 0.942 -'0.965
The expression "pressure pipe" used herein refers to a pipe which, when
used, is subjected to a positive pressure, that is the pressure inside the pipe
is higher than the pressure outside the pipe.
Polymeric pipes are generally manufactured by extrusion, or, to a smaller
extend, by injection moulding. A conventional plant for extrusion of
polymer pipes comprises an extruder, a die-head, a calibrating device,
cooling equipment, a pulling device, and a device for cutting and/or for
coiling-up the pipe.
The manufacture of PE materials for use in pressure pipes is discussed in
an article by Scheirs et al (Scheirs, Bohm, Boot and Leevers: PE100 Resins
for Pipe Applications, TRIP Vol. 4, No 12 (1996) pp. 408-415). The
authors discuss the production technology and properties of PE100 pipe
materials. They point out the importance of proper comonomer distribution
and molecular weight distribution in order to optimise slow crack growth
and rapid crack propagation.
European patent application EP 739 937 A2 discloses a pipe having
improved properties. The pipe is made of a bimodal PE resin, and has a
specified stress cracking resistance, impact strength and stiffness. The
publication discloses that preferably the material should have an MFR5 not
higher than 0.35 g/10 min.
Whilst the properties of conventional polymer pipes are sufficient for many
purposes, enhanced properties may also be desired, for instance in
applications requiring high pressure resistance, i.e. pipes that are subjected
to an internal fluid pressure for long and/or short periods of time.
It is also desirable to improve following properties: processability, impact
strength, modulus of elasticity, rapid crack propagation resistance, slow
crack growth resistance, and design stress rating of the pipe.
A problem when manufacturing large diameter pipes, particularly from
multimodal, such as bimodal, polymeric materials, is that it is difficult to
maintain uniform dimensions around the pipe. That.is due to gravity flow
of the polymer melt, causing it to flow from an upper part of the pipe to a
lower part (often called "sagging"). Thus, the wall thickness at the upper
part of the pipe becomes smaller than at the lower part of the pipe. The
sagging problem is particularly pronounced for thick-walled large diameter
The problem of sagging has been discussed in German patent application
DE 196 04 196 Al. The patent application discloses a process for
manufacturing a large-bore, thick walled pipe of potyethylene. The pipe is
extruded through a ring formed die and cooled on both inner and outer
surfaces. The double-sided cooling is said to eliminate deformation of the
pipe due to gravity-induced flow of the melt emerging from the die.
The problem of sagging has also been discussed in an article by D. N.
Githuku and A. J. Giacomin, "Elimination of Sag in Plastic Pipe
Extrusion", Intern. Polymer Processing VII (1992) 2, 140 - 143. The
hitherto conventional way to reduce sag is by manually adjusting the die
eccentricity which typically requires three or four tries at start-up to arrive
at an acceptable thickness profile. The article proposes a new way to reduce
sag, namely by rotating the pipe during cooling.
A mathematical mode of cooling and solidification, coupled with gravity
induced flow during the cooling of extruded plastic pipes, is set up and
solved by the finite element method in an article by J. F. T. Pittman, G. P.
Whiteman, S. Beech, and D. Gwynn, "Cooling and Wall Thickness
Uniformity in Plastic Pipe Manufacture", Intern. Polymer Processing IX
(1994) 2, 130 - 140. Melt rheology and determination of melt flow
properties at very low stress levels that are relevant to sag are also
According to ISO 9080, a possible new pressure class for PE would be
made to meet PE125 requirements, not realized today. This means that the
pipes can withstand a pipe wall stress of 12.5 MPa for 50 years at 20°C
It has now been discovered that pipes meeting the PE125 requirement, and
which do not sag can be prepared from a specific, well defined type of
More specifically, the multimodal polyethylene should have a high density,
a low melt index, and a carefully selected ratio between its low molecular
weight fraction and high molecular weight fraction.
According to the present invention there is provided a multimodal
polyethylene polymer composition comprising a low molecular weight
ethylene homo-polymer fraction and a high molecular weight ethylene
copolymer fraction, characterised in that:
- the low molecular weight fraction is present in an amount of 45 to
55 % by weight;
- the high molecular weight fraction is present in an amount of 45
to 55 % by weight;
- the polymer has a MFR5 of greater than 0.10 g/10 rnin and
less than or equal to 0.22 g/10 min; and
- the polymer has a density of greater than or equal to 952
Preferably, the low molecular weight fraction is present in an amount of 47 to
52% by weight
Further preferred, the high molecular weight fraction is present in an
amount of 48 to 53 % by weight.
The expression "modality of a polymer" refers to the form of its molecular
weight distribution (MWD) curve, i.e. the appearance of the graph of the
polymer weight fraction as a function of its molecular weight. If the
polymer is produced in a sequential step process e.g. by utilising reactors
coupled in series, and using different conditions in each reactor, the
different polymer fractions produced in the different reactors will each
have their own molecular weight distribution which may considerably
differ from one another.
The molecular weight distribution curve of the resulting final polymer can
be looked at by superimposing of the molecular weight distribution curves
of the polymer fractions which will accordingly show two or more distinct
maxima, or at least be distinctly broadened compared with the curves for
the individual fractions. A polymer showing such a molecular weight
distribution curve is called "bimodal" or "multimodal", respectively.
By properly selecting the different polymer fractions and the proportions
thereof in the multimodal polyethylene, a pipe which meets PE125, with
low tendency for sagging, good processability, good slow crack growth
resistance, good rapid crack propagation resistance, good weldability in
accordance with e.g. German welding standard from Deutsche Verein fur
Schweißtechnik DVS 2203 part 4 and Danish standard DS/INF 70-5, and
high design stress rating can be produced.
The multimodal ethylene is preferably a bimodal polyethylene.
Multimodal polymers can be produced according to several processes
which are described e.g. in WO 92/12182.
The multimodal polyethylene is preferably produced in a multi-stage
process in a multi-step reaction sequence such as described in WO
92/12182. The contents of this document are included herein by reference.
It is previously known to produce multimodal, in particular bimodal, olefin
polymers, such as multimodal polyethylene, in two or more reactors
connected in series. As instance of this prior art, mention may be made of
WO 96/18662, which is hereby incorporated by way of reference as regards
the production of multimodal polymers.
According to the present invention, the main polymerisation stages are
preferably carried out as a combination of slurry polymerisation/gas-phase
polymerisation. The slurry polymerisation is preferably performed in a so-
called loop reactor.
In order to produce the inventive composition of improved properties, a
flexible method is required. For that reason, it is preferred that the
composition be produced in two main polymerisation stages in a
combination of loop reactor/gas-phase reactor.
Optionally and advantageously, the main polymerisation stages may be
preceded by a prepolymerisation, in which case up to 20% by weight,
preferably 1-10% by weight, more preferably 1-5% by weight, of the total
amount of polymer is produced. The prepolymer is preferably an ethylene
homopolymer (HDPE). At the prepolymerisation point, all of the catalyst is
preferably charged into a loop reactor and the prepolymerisation is
performed as a slurry polymerisation. Such a prepolymerisation leads to
less fine particles being produced in the following reactors and to a more
homogeneous product being obtained in the end.
Generally, the technique results in a multimodal polymer mixture through
polymerisation with the aid of a Ziegler-Natta or metallocene catalyst in
several successive polymerisation reactors. In the production of, for
example, a bimodal polyethylene, which according to the invention is the
preferred polymer, a first ethylene polymer is produced in a first reactor
under certain conditions with respect to hydrogen-gas concentration,
temperature, pressure, and so forth. After the polymerisation in the first
reactor, the polymer including the catalyst is separated from the reaction
mixture and transferred to a second reactor, where further polymerisation
takes place under other conditions.
Usually, a first polymer of high melt flow rate and low molecular weight,
LMW, is produced with no addition of comonomer in the first reactor,
whereas a second polymer of low melt flow rate and high molecular weight,
HMW, is produced with addition of comonomer in the second reactor. As
comonomer of the HMW fraction preferably one or more alpha-olefins are
used. More preferably, alpha-olefins with 6 to 12 carbon atoms are used,
which may be preferably selected from the group consisting of 1-hexene, 4-
methyl-1-pentene, 1-heptene, 1-octene, 1-nonene, 1-decene, 6-methyl-l-
heptene, 4-ethyl- 1-hexene, 6-ethyl-1-octene and 7-mefhyl- 1-octene. Still
more preferably, the comonomer is an alpha-olefin with 7 to 10 carbons,
and may be selected from 1-heptene, 1-octene and 1-nonene.
The amount of comonomer is preferably such that it comprises 0.1 to 2.0
mol%, more preferably 0.1 to 1.0 mol% of the multimodal polyethylene.
The resulting end product consists of an intimate mixture of the polymers
from the two reactors, the different molecular-weight-distribution curves of
these polymers together forming a molecular-weight-distribution curve
having a broad maximum or two maxima, i.e. the end product is a bimodal
polymer mixture. Since multimodal, and especially bimodal, ethylene
polymers, and the production thereof belong to the prior art, no detailed
description is called for here, but reference is made to the above mentioned
EP 517 868. It will be noted that the order of the reaction stages may be'
Preferably, as stated above, the multimodal polyethylene composition
according to the invention is a bimodal polymer mixture. It is also preferred
that this bimodal polymer mixture has been produced by polymerisation as
above under different polymerisation conditions in two or more
polymerisation reactors connected in series.
In a preferred embodiment of the polymerisation in a loop reactor followed
by a gas-phase reactor, the polymerisation temperature in the loop reactor
is preferably 75 to 110°C, more preferably 92 to 100°C and in particular
about 95°C and the temperature in the gas-phase reactor preferably is 75 to
110°C, and more preferably 82 to 90°C.
A chain-transfer agent, preferably hydrogen, is added as required to the
reactors, and preferably 200 to 800 moles of H2/kmoles of ethylene are
added to the reactor, when the LMW fraction is produced in this reactor,
and 0 to 50 moles of H2/kmoles of ethylene are added to the gas phase
reactor when the reactor is producing the HMW fraction.
As indicated earlier, the catalyst for polymerising the multimodal
polyethylene of the invention preferably is a Ziegler-Natta type catalyst.
Particularly preferred are catalysts with a high overall activity as well as a
good activity balance over a wide range of hydrogen partial pressures.
Furthermore, the molecular weight of the polymer produced by the catalyst
is of great importance. As an example of a preferred catalyst, mention is
made of the catalyst disclosed in FI 980788 and its corresponding PCT
application PCT/FI99/00286. It has surprisingly been found that when
using this catalyst in a multistage process, it is possible to obtain a polymer
having the characteristics described above. The catalyst also has the
advantage that it (procatalyst and cocatalyst) only needs to and, indeed,
only should be added in the first polymerisation reactor.
FI 980788 and its corresponding PCT application PCT/FI99/00286
discloses a process for the production of a high activity procatalyst.
Further preferred Ziegler-Natta catalysts for the production of the
multimodal polyethylene of the invention are also those described in EP
Still further preferred Ziegler-Natta catalysts are also those produced
according to a process comprising a catalyst component formed by
contacting at least: (a) a compound of group 1 to 3 of the Periodic Table
(IUPAC), with (b) a transition metal compound of group 4 to 10 of the
Periodic Table (IUPAC), or a compound of an actinide or lanthanide;
in the form of solid catalyst particles, comprising:
- preparing a solution from the compounds;
- dispersing said solution to a solvent immiscible therewith and inert in
relation to said compounds;
- to obtain an emulsion in which said solution forms the dispersed phase;
- solidifying the catalyst component in the dispersed droplets;
- recovering the solid catalyst particles.
Finally, further preferred Ziegler-Natta catalysts are also those produced in
a process comprising a catalyst component formed by contacting at least:
(a) a compound of group 1 to 3 of the Periodic Table (IUPAC) with (b) a
chlorine-containing transition metal compound of group 4 to 10 of the
Periodic Table (IUPAC) and/or a chlorine-containing compound of group
13 of the Periodic Table (IUPAC);
in the form of solid catalyst particles, comprising:
- preparing a solution from said compounds;
- dispersing said solution to a solvent immiscible therewith and inert in
relation to the compounds;
- to obtain, an emulsion in which said solution forms the dispersed phase;
- solidifying the catalyst component in the dispersed droplets;
- recovering the solid catalyst particles.
The catalyst for the production of the ethylene polymer may also be a
chromium, or a single-site catalyst.
Preferably, the single-site catalyst is a metallocene catalyst.
Preferred single-site catalysts are described in EP 688 794, EP 949 274,
WO 95/12622 and WO 00734341. The contents of these documents are
included herein by reference.
Multimodal polymers, in particular ethylene polymers, show superior
mechanical properties, which are, for example, low shrinkage, low
abrasion, hard surface and good barrier properties by a good processability.
The multimodal polyethylene comprises a low molecular weight (LMW)
ethylene homopolymer fraction and a high molecular weight (HMW)
ethylene homo- or copolymer fraction. Depending on whether the
multimodal ethylene polymer is bimodal or has a higher modality, the
LMW and/or HMW fraction may comprise only one fraction each or two or
The low molecular weight (LMW) fraction has a weight average molecular
weight of about 5000 to 50000 g/mol, a melt index MFR2 of about 100 to
2000 g/10 min, a content of alpha-oiefin comonomer of less than about
0.5% by mole and a density of about 965 to 977 kg/m3.
The high molecular weight (HMW) fraction has a weight average molecular
weight of about 300000 to 900000 g/mol, a melt index MFR21 of about 0.01
to 1 g/10 min, a content of comonomer of 0.4 to 4.0% by mol and a density
of about 915 to 935 kg/m3.
The expression "ethylene homopolymer" as used herein refers to an
polyethylene that consists substantially, i.e. to at least 97 % by weight,
preferably at least 99 % by weight, more preferably at least 99.5 % by
weight and most preferably at least 99.8 % by weight of ethylene.
Preferably, the ethylene polymer is a bimodal polymer consisting of one
LMW fraction and one HMW fraction.
As stated above, the co-monomer of the high molecular weight copolymer
preferably is a C6 to C12 alpha-olefin, more preferably a C8 to C10 alpha-
The ethylene homo-polymer preferably has a MFR2 of about 300 to 2000
The molecular weight distrihution of the polymer composition is
characterized by way of its melt flow rate (MFR) according to ISO 1133.
The melt flow rate is primarily dependent on the mean molecular weight.
That is because, long well-packed molecules give a material a smaller flow
tendency than short, less packed molecules. An increase in molecular
weight means a decrease in MFR value. The melt flow rate is measured in
g/10min of the polymer discharge under specified temperature and pressure
conditions and is a measure of the viscosity of the polymer, which in turn
for each type of polymer is mainly influenced by its molecular weight
distribution, but also by its degree of branching etc.. The melt flow rates
are measured under a load of 2.16 kg denoted as MFR?, at 5 kg which is
denoted as MFR5, and at 21.6 kg which is denoted as MFR21, all in
accordance with ISO 1133.
The polymer also preferably has a density of greater than or equal to 953
The polymer composition of the present invention preferably has a dynamic
viscosity, at a shear stress of 2.7 kPa, of at least 300000 Pa-s, preferably at
least 350000 Pa-s.
It is also preferable for the polymer to have a shear thinning index of 70 or
greater, preferably 100 or greater and in particular 130 or greater.
The polymer composition may further comprise additives, such as,
pigments, e.g. carbon black and phtalocyanine; stabilisers/antioxidants, e.g.
Irganox 1010, Irgafos 168, and blends such as Irganox B225; and
neutralising additives, e.g. calcium stearate and zinc stearate.
According to another aspect of the invention there is provided use of the
polymer composition according to the present invention in the production
of a polymeric article, especially a pipe.
In order to achieve the non-sagging characteristics of the multimodal
polyethylene composition of the present invention, it is important to ensure
that the polymer, after being, for example, extruded into a pipe and before
being cooled, does not flow by gravity from the upper part of the pipe to a
lower part and therefore create a non-uniform distribution of polymer
around the cross-section of the pipe.
The tendency of a polymer to display gravity flow may be determined by
means of a conventional melt index apparatus, such as a Gottfert melt index
apparatus. Generally, a polymer sample is introduced into the bore (9.550
mm diameter, ISO 1133) of the melt index apparatus, the temperature is set
at 230°C, the bottom die is removed, and the polymer loaded with a weight
corresponding to the force of gravity that would have acted upon the
polymer if it had constituted the upper part of a pipe. It has been found that
the piston (which weighs 120 g) of the melt index apparatus corresponds to
the gravity force on the polymer at the upper part of a 2.2 m diameter pipe,
and it is therefore suitable to use the piston without any extra weight as the
gravity force acting upon the polymer sample. During the test the polymer
flow is determined at intervals for 75 min and the average gravity flow is
then determined in mm/10 min. With the polymer of the present invention
the gravity flow of the polymer is preferably less than O.lmm/10 min. The
gravity flow determination method is described in further detail below:
1. Set the temperature to 230°C and let it stabilise;
2. Weight the piston to an accuracy of 0.1 g;
3. When the temperature is stable insert 6-8 g of the material to be
4. Let the material heat soak for 10 min;
5. After 10 min open the bottom holder for the die and press out the die by
pressing the melt pool from above;
6. Take away the die and apply the piston. Press down the piston until the
lower marking scratch on the piston is 29 mm above the filling hole;
7. Let the melt pool relax for 10 min as some materials have a more
pronounced melt elasticity than others and the induced elasticity from the
pressing down of the melt pool may influence the result;
8. Start the measurement by measuring the height of the lower marking
scratch above the filling hole with a sliding caliper to an accuracy of 0.1
mm. Start the stop watch;
9. Make a measurement of the height above the filing hole each 20 min and
make a final measurement after 75 min; and
10. Make notes and present the results of the height each 20 min. Calculate
the travelling distance each 20 min in mm as well as the travelling speed
expressed as mm/10 min. Finally calculate the average travelling distance
and velocity after 75 min (travel, dist/75) and make a report.
Another method which correlates well with the above described gravity
flow method, and is used in connection with the present invention relates to
the rheology of the polymer and is based on determination of the viscosity
of the polymer at a very low, constant shear stress. A shear stress of 747 Pa
has been selected for this method. The viscosity of the polymer at this shear
stress is determined at a temperature of 190°C and has been found to be
inversely proportional to the gravity flow of the polymer, i.e. the greater
the viscosity the lower the gravity flow.
The determination of the viscosity at 747 Pa shear stress is made by using a
constant stress rheometer, which can be e.g. a Bohlin CS Melt Rheometer.
Rheometers and their function have been described in "Encyclopedia of
Polymer Science and Engineering" , 2nd Ed., Vol. 14, pp. 492-509. The
measurements are performed under a constant stress between two 25 mm
diameter plates (constant rotation direction). The gap between the plates is
1.8 mm. An 1.8 mm thick polymer sample is inserted between the plates.
The sample is temperature conditioned during 2 min before the
measurement is started. The measurement is performed at 190°C. After
temperature conditioning the measurement starts by applying the
predetermined stress. The stress is maintained during 1800 s to let the
system approach steady state conditions. After this time the measurement
starts and the viscosity is calculated.
The measurement principle is to apply a certain torque to the plate axis via
a precision motor. This torque is then translated into a shear stress in the
sample. This shear stress is kept constant. The rotational speed produced by
the shear stress is recorded and used for the calculation of the viscosity of
Rheology measurements according to ASTM D 4440-95a may also be used
to characterise other important properties of the polymer, such as the
molecular weight and molecular weight distribution (MWD).
The use of rheology is advantageous in those cases where the high
molecular weight end of the molecular weight distribution is important.
Typically, size exclusion chromatography (gel permeation
chromatography), which often is used to measure the molecular weight
distribution, is not sensitive enough in this molecular weight range.
The storage modulus (G') and the loss modulus (G") together with the
absolute value of the complex viscosity (η*) as a function of the frequency
(ω) or the absolute value of the complex modulus (G*) are obtained by
dynamic rheology measurements.
According to Cox-Merz rule the complex viscosity function, η* (ω) is the same
as the conventional viscosity function (viscosity as a function of shear rate),
if frequency is taken in rad/s. If this empiric equation is valid, the absolute
value of the complex modulus corresponds to the shear stress in
conventional (that is steady state) viscosity measurements. This means that
the function η* (G*) is the same as the viscosity as a function of shear
In the present method the viscosity at a low shear stress or η* at a low G*
(which serves as an approximation of the so called zero viscosity) is used
as a measure of average molecular weight.
According to the invention, and as stated above, η2.7 kPa (viscosity at 2.7 kPa
shear stress) should be greater than 300 kPa-s, preferably 350 kPa-s.
On the other hand, shear thinning, that is the decrease of viscosity with G*,
gets more pronounced the broader the molecular weight distribution is. This
property can be approximated by defining a so called shear thinning index,
SHI, as a ratio of the viscosity at two different shear stresses. In the present
invention the shear stresses (or G*) 2.7 kPa and 210 kPa are used for
calculating the SHI2.7/210 as a measure of the broadness of the molecular
The rapid crack propagation (RCP) resistance of a pipe may be determined
according to a method called the S4 test (Small Scale Steady State), which
has been developed at Imperial College, London, and which is described in
ISO 13477:1997(E). According to the RCP-S4 test a pipe is tested, which
has an axial length not below 7 pipe diameters. The outer diameter of the
pipe is about 110 mm or greater and its wall thickness about 10 mm or
greater. When determining the RCP properties of a pipe in connection with
the present invention, the outer diameter and the wall thickness have been
selected to be 110 mm and 10 mm, respectively. While the exterior of the
pipe is at ambient pressure (atmospheric pressure), the pipe is pressurised
internally, and the internal pressure in the pipe is kept constant at a
pressure of 0.5 MPa positive pressure. The pipe and the equipment
surrounding it are thermostatted to a predetermined temperature. A number
of discs have been mounted on a shaft inside the pipe to prevent
decompression during the tests. A knife projectile is shot, with well-defined
forms, towards the pipe close to its one end in the so-called initiating zone
in order to start a rapidly running axial crack. The initiating zone is
provided with an abutment for avoiding unnecessary deformation of the
pipe. The test equipment is adjusted in such a manner that crack initiation
takes place in the material involved, and a number of tests are effected at
varying temperatures. The axial crack length in the measuring zone, having
a total length of 4.5 diameters, is measured for each test and is plotted
against the set test temperature. If the crack length exceeds 4 diameters, the
crack is assessed to have propagated. If the pipe passes the test at a given
temperature, the temperature is lowered successively until a temperature is
reached, at which the pipe no longer passes the test, but the crack
propagation exceeds 4 times the pipe diameter. The critical temperature
(Tcrit) i.e. the ductile brittle transition temperature as measured according to
ISO 13477:1997(E) is the lowest temperature at which the pipe passes the
test. The lower the critical temperature the better, since it results in an
extension of the applicability of the pipe. It is desirable for the critical
temperature to be lower than around + 2°C. A pressure pipe made of the
multimodal polymer composition according to the present invention
preferably has an RCP-S4 value of - 2°C or lower, more preferably - 7°C
or lower and in particular - 10°C or lower.
The design stress rating is the circumferential stress a pipe is designed to
withstand for 50 years without failure and is determined for different
temperatures in terms of the Minimum Required Strength (MRS) according
to ISO/TR 9080. Thus, MRS8.0 means that the pipe is a pipe withstanding
a hoop stress of 8.0 MPa gauge for 50 years at 20°C, and similarly
MRS 10.0 means that the pipe withstands a hoop stress of 10 MPa gauge for
50 years at 20°C. A pressure pipe made of this multimodal polymer
composition according to the present invention preferably has a design
stress rating of at least MRS 12.5.
The slow crack propagation resistance is determined according to ISO
13479:1997 in terms of the number of hours the pipe withstands a certain
pressure at a certain temperature before failure. A pressure pipe made of
the multimodal polymer composition according to the present invention
preferably has a slow crack propagation resistance of at least 165 h at 5.6
MPa/80°C, more preferably at least 200 h at 5.6 MPa/80°C and in
particular at least 500 h at 5.6 MPa/80°C.
The modulus of elasticity is determined according to ISO 527-2. A pressure
pipe made of the multimodal polymer composition according to the present
invention preferably has a modulus of elasticity of at least 1400 N/mm2.
The density is measured according to ISO 1183-1987.
The molecular weight distribution is measured by using size exclusion
chromatography (SEC). In the examples this was done by using a Waters
150 CV plus no. 1115. A refractive index (RI) detector and a viscosity
detector were used. The instrument was calibrated with a narrow molecular
weight distribution polystyrene sample. The colums were 3 HT6E styragel
from Waters at an oven temperature of 140°C.
According to a further aspect of the invention there is provided a pipe
produced using a polymeric composition according to the present invention.
The present invention will now be described by way of example:
Tables 1 to 4 contain data relating to Examples 1, 2 and 3.
All of the examples were produced in a pilot plant, comprising a 500 dm3
loop reactor and a gas phase reactor. Between the reactors a flash is used,
to remove the volatile components from the polymer, before the polymer is
transferred into the gas phase reactor. The loop reactor was operated at
95°C temperature and 60 bar pressure. Propane diluent, ethylene, hydrogen
and a polymerisation catalyst (a magnesium dichloride based titanium
chloride catalyst, manufactured and marketed by Engelhard under the trade
name of Lynx 200 ™. Triethylaluminium was used as a cocataiyst, so that
the molar ratio of aluminium in the cocataiyst to titanium in the solid
catalyst component was about 20) were introduced into the reactor with
such flow rates that the reactor conditions and polymer properties were as
shown in table 1.
The polymers were then transferred into a gas phase reactor, operated at
85°C temperature and 20 bar pressure. Into the reactor were further
introduced ethylene, 1-hexene comonomer, hydrogen and nitrogen, so that
the conditions and the polymer properties were as shown in table 2.
The powder collected from, the gas phase reactor was dried, mixed with
2200 ppm Irganox B225, 1500 ppm calcium stearate and 57500 ppm
HE0880, which is a carbon black containing masterbatch. The polymer
was, after mixing, pelletised on a JSW CIM90P extruder. The data of the
final resin produced is shown in tables 3 and 4.
1. A multimodal polyethylene polymer comprising a low molecular weight ethylene homo-
polymer fraction and a high molecular weight ethylene copolymer fraction, characterised in that:
the low molecular weight fraction is present in an amount of
47 to 52% by weight;
the high molecular weight fraction is present in an amount of
48 to 53% by weight;
the multimodal polymer has a MFR5 of greater than 0.10
g/10 min; and less than or equal to 0.22 g/10 min; and
the multimodal polymer has a density of greater than or
equal to 952 kg/m3.
2. A multimodal polyethylene polymer as claimed in claim 1, wherein the polymer has a
density of greater than or equal to 953 kg/m3.
3. A multimodal polyethylene polymer as claimed in claim 1 or 2, wherein the polymer
viscosity, at a shear stress of 2.7kPa, of at least 300000 Pa.s, preferably 350000 Pa.s.
4. A multimodal polyethylene polymer as claimed in any one of the preceding claims,
wherein the polymer has a shear index of 70 or greater, preferably 100 or greater,
5. A multimodal polyethylene polymer as claimed in any one of the preceding claims,
wherein the co-monomer of the high molecular weight ethylene copolymer is a C6 to C12 alpha-
6. A multimodal polyethylene polymer as claimed in claim 5, wherein the co-monomer is a
C8 to C10 alpha-olefin.
7. A multimodal polyethylene polymer as claimed in any of the preceding claims, wherein
the ethylene homo-polymer has a MFR2 of about 300 to 2000 g/10 min.
8. A pipe produced from a multimodal polyethylene polymer composition, as claimed in
any one of claims 1 to 7.
The invention relates to novel multimodal polyethylene polymers comprising a low molecular weight fraction and
a high molecular weight fraction, and having a MFR5 of greater than 0.10 g/10 min and less than or equal to 0.22 g/10 min, and a
density of greater than equal to 952 kg/m3. The invention also relates to uses of the novel polymers in the production of polymeric
articles, especially pipes.
|Indian Patent Application Number||2724/KOLNP/2006|
|PG Journal Number||38/2011|
|Date of Filing||19-Sep-2006|
|Name of Patentee||BOREALIS TECHNOLOGY OY|
|Applicant Address||P.O. BOX 330, FI-06101 PORVOO|
|PCT International Classification Number||C08L 23/06|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/EP2004/003252|
|PCT International Filing date||2004-03-26|