|Title of Invention||
A FILM COMPRISING A MULTIMODAL COPOLYMER AND PROCESS OF PREPARATION THEREOF
|Abstract||A multimodal copolymer of ethylene comprising at least (i) a lower molecular weight fraction of a copolymer of ethylene and at least one alpha-olefin comonomer and (ii) a higher molecular weight fraction of a copolymer of ethylene and at least one alpha-olefin comonomer, wherein said copolymer has a density below 920 kg/m3.|
|Full Text||Co polymer
This invention relates to a polyethylene copolymer having very low density (VLDPE), to the preparation thereof and to the use thereof in various applications, such as film, e.g. blown or cast films, as well as mono-or multilayer films, in extrusion coated (EC) substrates, including mono- and multilayer EC substrates, and in injection moulded articles.
Polymers used in, for example, extrusion coating and in the manufacture of films need to possess certain properties to make them useful as coatings/films. For example, they should exhibit good sealing properties. They must also possess the requisite mechanical properties and hot tack.
In this regard low density polyethylenes (LDPE's) do not possess the ideal mechanical properties required by an extrusion coating or polymer film since they lack the necessary toughness and abuse resistance. It is known therefore to blend LDPE's with other polymer grades to improve mechanical properties.
Hence LDPE has previously been combined with higher density polyethylenes, e.g. medium or high density polyethylene or linear low density polyethylenes (LLDPE) to improve mechanical properties. For example, a small amount of LDPE (5 to 30 wt%) can be added to LLDPE to improve processability. However, when the content of LDPE increases in the composition, then the beneficial properties of the linear polymer, e.g. improved environmental stress cracking resistance, barrier properties and sealing properties, are soon diluted or lost. On the other hand, if the LDPE content is too low then the blend may not have sufficient processability. The problem with such low LDPE content blends is that whilst they have better processability than an LLDPE alone, they may not be extrudable or drawn down at high take-off rates. There is therefore a trade off between good mechanical properties and good processability.
Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and ultra low density polyethylene (ULDPE) extrusion compositions, conventionally made using Ziegler-Natta catalysis, offer improved mechanical properties but again are difficult to process due to lack of extrudability.
There remains a need therefore to devise further polyethylene polymer compositions suitable for extrusion coating and film formation which provide good mechanical and processing properties.
WOO 1/62847 proposes using a bimodal polyethylene composition made using a single site catalyst in a multistage process as a replacement for LDPE. The composition can be used as an extrusion coating as such or mixed with minor amounts of LDPE prior to extrusion. WOO 1/62847 generally describes polymers with density of 915-960 kg/m3. In its examples however, all polymers have densities over 924 kg/m3, the majority over 930 kg/m3. Thus, no specific polymer compositions with densities below 920 kg/m3 are disclosed.
Accordingly, the bimodal polymers produced therein still have relatively high densities and are not therefore ideal replacement for LDPE's. It would be beneficial if even lower density bimodal polyethylene copolymere could be provided to act as ideal replacements for LDPE's. Such copolymers may also possess good sealing properties.
It is generally known that the production of a multimoda! very low density polyethylene (VLDPE) using a Ziegler-Natta catalyst is difficult if not impossible to achieve It is also challenging to produce a multimodal VLDPE using a single site catalyst. It is theoretically possible to form a multimodal VLDPE by mechanical blending of at least two polymer components, i.e. lower molecular weight (LMW) component and higher molecular weight (HMW) component or by forming the necessary components in situ e.g. in a multistage process. However, due to the substantial differences in density and potentially MFR2 between the polymer components, the blends are expected to be inhomogeneous due to severe compatibility problems between the components.
A further problem encountered when manufacturing such low density polymers is reactor fouling. The low density component of such a bimodal species has very low crystallinity which was thought to lead to reactor fouling particularly in the gas phase. Fouling was thought to occur when either Ziegler-Natta or single site catalysis was employed.
Polymers are employed in a wide variety of applications each making different demands on the polymer. Further tailored polymers are needed to meet growing
requirements of end use applications.
The problem to be solved by the present invention lies in the provision of further tailored polymer compositions, particularly VLDPE compositions, which can be used in various end applications, where polymer materials with low or very low density are desired.
Accordingly, a multimodal copoiymer of ethylene (herein referred generally as the VLDPE composition) is provided, which comprises at least (i) a LMW fraction of a copoiymer of ethylene and at least one alpha-olefin comonomer and (it) a HMW fraction of a copoiymer of ethylene and at least one alpha-olefin comonomer, wherein the VLDPE composition has a density below 920 kg/m3. The obtained VLDPE product has good flowability properties.
The term "VLDPE composition" as used herein means the composition of the invention, as described above with the given density limit. The present invention may also provide a VLDPE polymer composition comprising a LMW fraction and a HMW fraction with differing densities and, preferably, with differing MFR2 values which are compatible, i.e. are homogeneous when blended.
The VLDPE product of the invention may also have, inter alia, improved sealing properties which may be very advantageous in certain end applications, e.g. in extrusion coating (EC) or film applications.
The VLDPE composition may comprise further polymer fractions in addition to fractions (i) and (ii). Accordingly, the VLDPE composition is multimodal e.g. bitnodal, i.e. its molecular weight profile does not comprise a single peak but instead comprises the combination of two or more peaks, which may or may not be distinguishable and which are centred about different average molecular weights as a result of the fact that the polymer composition comprises two or more separately produced components. In one embodiment the VLDPE composition is bimodal and consists of the fractions (i) and (ii).
The VLDPE composition can be used in different end applications, and due to its good sealing properties and/or processability it is suitable for film applications including cast and blown films as well as monolayer and multilayer films, extrusion coating (EC) applications including monolayer and multilayer EC, and for injection moulding applications, preferably for film and EC applications.
The VLDPE composition of the invention has a novel compositional structure and the advantage that the other properties of the present multimodal VLDPE composition can be tailored within said density limit of below 920 kg/m3 depending on the desired end use application.
In a preferred embodiment of the present invention the VLDPE composition has a relatively narrow molecular weight distribution (MWD) and excellent sealing properties, good process ability and a low level of extractibles. The MWD is preferably 25 to 10, especially 3.0 to 6.0 whereby good processability of the VLDPE is achieved
The weight average molecular weight of the multimodal, e.g. bimodal polymer is preferably between 50,000 and 250,000 g/mol. The lower molecular weight polymer fraction preferably has a weight average molecular weight of 5000 to 100,000 g/mol, more preferably of 10,000 to 70,000 g/mol and the higher molecular weight polymer fraction preferably has a weight average molecular weight preferably of 50,000 to 500,000 g/mol, more preferably of 100,000 to 300,000 g/mol
The molecular weight distribution of the polymer is further characterized by the way of its melt flow rate (MFR2) according to ISO 1133 at 190°C at a load of 2.16 kg The final multimodal, e.g. bimodal polymer preferably has a melt flow rate MFR2 of 0.01 g/lOmin or more, e.g. 0.01 to 30 g/lOmin, preferably 0.05 to 22 g/10 min, more preferably 0.5 to 20 g/lOmin such as 0.8 to 15 g/lOmin. Typical MFR2 eg for cast film is The lower molecular weight polymer fraction preferably has a MFR: of 1 to 300 g/1Omin, more preferably 50 to 200g/10min, such as 80 to 150g/10min.
The density of the formed polymer is less than 920 kg/m3, such as less than 918 kg/m3, preferably less than 915 kg/m3, such as 914 kg/m3 or less. A density of 912 kg/m3or less may even be preferable in some applications.
The density of the VLDPE composition is preferably at least 905 kg/m3.
The density of the lower molecular weight polymer fraction is typically 915 to
950 kg/m3, preferably 920 to 950 kg/m3, such as 925 to 945 kg/m3. For some applications 940 kg/m3 may be desired.
The density of the higher molecular weight component polymer fraction is typically 870 to 910 kg/m3, preferably 870 to 900 kg/m3, more preferably 880 to 900 kg/m3' e.g. 885 to 900 kg/m3. The lower molecular weight component should have a higher density than the higher molecular weight component, e.g. at least 20 kg/m3 or higher, preferably at least 30 kg/m3 or higher.
The weight ratio (i.e. production split) of LMW fraction (i) to HMW fraction (ii) is preferably 30:70 to 70:30, preferably 40:60 to 60:40, e.g. 45:55 to 55:45.
The overall comonomer content in the VLDPE composition is typically, 0.5 to 15 mol%, preferably 0.5 to 10 mol%, preferably 1.5 to 6.5 mol%, more preferably 2 to 5 mol% and particularly in case of polymers with more than two comonomers the preferable range is 1.5 to 7 mol%, and in the lower molecular weight polymer the comonomer content is typically up to 5 mol%, such as up to 3 mol%, preferably from 0.1 to 2 0 mol%, preferably 0.5 to 1.5 mol%. In the higher molecular weight polymer the comonomer content is typically up to 30 mol%, such as 4 to 20 mol%, preferably up to 15 mol%. In some applications comonomer content in the HMW fraction may preferably be of 1.5 to 8 mol%, preferably 3.5 to 6 mol%. Comonomer contents may be measured by NMR.
The melting point of the polymer may be between 100 to 13 0°C, preferably 110 to 120°C
The invention also provides a process for preparing the VLDPE composition of the invention, wherein (a) the LMW fraction (i) is produced by polymerising ethylene with at least one alpha-olefin comonomer in the presence of a polymerisation catalyst and (b) the HMW fraction (ii) is produced by polymerising ethylene with at least one alpha-olefin comonomer in the presence of a polymerisation catalyst, to obtain the VLDPE composition having density of less than 920 kg/m3, and optionally extruding the obtained composition to form polymer pellets
Preferably, in said process the VLDPE composition as defined above including the preferred embodiments thereof is prepared.
The polymerisation process may comprise further polymerisation steps to
produce further polymer fractions, e.g. a prepolymerisation step, in a known manner.
The density and MFRa of each fraction can be controlled by adjusting the process conditions, e.g. by adjusting one or more of the following: the ethylene feed, hydrogen feed, comonomer feed and the production split between the fractions in a conventional manner.
In principle, the VLDPE composition of the invention may be produced by any feasible polymerization and blending process. However, the applicant has found that the VLDPE composition of the invention can be favourably prepared as an in situ blend in a multistage polymerisation process. Whilst the stages of the process can be carried out using any known polymerisation method, such as suspension, slurry, solution or gas phase polymerisation in one or more reactors, it is preferred if the process involves a slurry and/or gas phase polymerisation process, preferably in at least two stages in the same or different reactor.
According to one preferable embodiment the polymerisation of the LMW and HMW fractions is carried out in at least two stages in different reactors, typically in series, the components being prepared in any order.
In a preferable embodiment of the invention the LMW fraction is produced first and the HMW fraction is produced in the presence of LMW fraction.
The multistage process can, for example be a slurry-slurry or a gas phase-gas phase process, particularly preferably a slurry-gas phase process. The slurry process may involve the use of known slurry tank reactors or loop reactors, in a suitable diluent or as a bulk process. The slurry and gas phase processes are well known and described in the prior art.
Most preferably, the VLDPE composition of the invention is produced in a multistage process comprising a loop reactor and a gas phase reactor, whereby the LMW fraction of the VLDPE composition is first produced in the loop reactor and the HMW fraction is produced in the gas phase reactor in the presence of the LMW traction This type of process is developed by Borealis A/S, Denmark and known in the art as BORSTAR® technology. This process enables the production of LMW and HMW fractions with substantially differing densities and allows tailoring of the other polymer properties, i.e the preferred process is especially advantageous for producing in situ blends with low density. Due to the loop-gas phase arrangement it
is possible to produce in the loop a LMW fraction with low density and preferably with high MFR2,
The VLDPE composition of the invention can be produced using any suitable catalyst, e.g. a coordination catalyst.
The ethylene polymers of the invention are thus preferably produced using a single site catalyst, e.g. a catalyst comprising a metal coordinated by one or more r\-bonding ligands Such ri-bonded metals are normally referred to as metallocenes and the metals are typically Zr, Hf or Ti, especially Zr or Hf. The t|-bonding ligand is typically an r|5-cyclic ligand, i.e. a homo or heterocyclic cyclopentadienyl group optionally with fused or pendant substituents. Such metallocene procatalysts have been widely described in the scientific and patent literature for about twenty years. Such metallocene procatalysts are frequently used with catalyst activators or co-catalysts, e.g. alumoxanes such as methylaluminoxane, again as widely described in the literature
The metallocene procatalyst may have a formula II:
each Cp independently is an unsubstituted or substituted and/or fused homo-or heterocyclopentadienyl ligand, e.g. substituted or unsubstituted cyclopentadienyl, substituted or unsubstituted indenyl or substituted or unsubstituted fluorenyl ligand; the optional one or more substituent(s) being independently selected preferably from halogen, hydrocarbyl (e.g. Cl-C20-alkyl, C2-C20-alkenyl, C2-C20-alkynyl, C3-C12-cyc!oalkyl, C6-C20-aryl or C7-C20-arylalkyl), C3-C12-cycloalkyl which contains 1, 2, 3 or 4 heteroatom(s) in the ring moiety, C6- C20-heteroaryl, C1-C20-haloalkyl, -SiR -OSiR"3, -SR", -PR"2 or -NR"2) eachR" is independently a hydrogen 01 hydrocarbyl, e.g. Cl-C20-alkyl, C2-C20-alkenyl, C2-C20-aIkynyl, C3-C12-cycloalkyl or C6-C20-aryl; or e.g. in case of -NRH2, the two substituents R" can form a ring, eg Five- or six-membered ring, together with the nitrogen atom wherein they are attached to;
R is a bridge of 1-7 atoms, e.g. a bridge of 1 -4 C-atoms and 0-4 heteroatoms, wherein the heteroatom(s) can be e.g. Si, Ge and/or O atom(s), whereby each of the bridge atoms may bear independently substituents, such as C1 -C20-alkyl, tri(C 1-C20-aikyl)silyl, tri(C l-C20-alkyl)sioxy or C6-C20-aryl substituents); or a bridge of I -3, e.g. one or two, hetero atoms, such as silicon, germanium and/or oxygen atom(s), e.g -SiR'2-, wherein each R1 is independently Cl-C20-alkyl, C6-C20-aryl or tri(C 1 -C20-alkyl)silyl- residue, such as trimethylsilyl;
M is a transition metal of Group 3 to 10, preferably of Group 4 to 6, such as Group 4, e.g Ti, Zr or Hf, especially Hf;
each X is independently a sigma-ligand, such as H, haiogen, C l-C20-alkyl, C l-C20-alkoxy, C2-C20-alkenyl, C2-C20-alkynyl, C3-Cl2-cycloalkyl, C6-C20-aryl, C6-C20-aryloxy, C7-C20-arylalkyi, C7-C20-arylalkenyl, -SR", -PR" -SiR"3, -OSiR"3, -NR"2or -CH2-Y, wherein Y is C6-C20-aryl, C6-C20-heteroaryl, C1-C20-alkoxy, C6-C20-aryloxy, NR"2, -SR", -PR"3, -SiR"3 or -OSiR"3;
each of the above mentioned ring moieties alone or as a part of another moiety as the substituent for Cp, X, R" orR1 can further be substituted e.g. withCl-C20-alkyl which may contain Si and/or O atoms;
n isO, 1 or 2, e.g. Oor 1,
m is 1,2 or 3, e.g. 1 or 2,
q is I, 2 or 3, e.g. 2 or 3, wherein m+q is equal to the valency of M.
Suitably, in each X as -CHj-Y, each Y is independently selected from C6-C20-aryl, NR"2, -SiR"3 or -OSiR'Y Most preferably, X as -CH2-Y is benzyl. Each X other than -CH2-Y is independently halogen, Cl-C20-alkyl, C1-C20-alkoxy, C6-C20-aryl, C7-C20-arylalkenyl or -NR"2 as defined above, e.g. -N(Cl-C20-alkyl)2.
Preferably, q is 2, each X is halogen or-CH2-Y, and each Y is independently as defined above
Cp is preferably cyclopentadienyl, indenyl, tetrahydroindenyl orfluorenyl, optionally substituted as defined above and may further bear a fused ring of 3 to 7 atoms, e.g. 4, 5 or 6, which ring may be aromatic or partially saturated
In a suitable subgroup of the compounds of formula n, each Cp independently bears 1,2, 3 or 4 substituents as defined above, preferably 1,2 or 3, such as 1 or 2
substituents, which are preferably selected from C l-C20-alkyl, C6-C20-aryl, C7-C20-arylalkyl (wherein the aryl ring alone or as a part of a further moiety may further be substituted as indicated above), -OSiR"3, wherein R" is as indicated above, preferably Cl-C20-alky I.
R, if present, is preferably a methylene, ethylene or a silyl bridge, whereby the silyl can be substituted as defined above, e.g. a (dimethyl)Si=, (methylphenyl)Si= or (trimethylsilyImethyl)Si=; n is 0 or I; m is 2 and q is two. Preferably, R" is other than hydrogen.
A specific subgroup includes the well known metallocenes of Zr, Hf and Ti with two eta5-ligands which may be bridged or unbridged cyclopentadienyl ligands optionally substituted with e.g. siloxy, or alkyl (e.g. Cl-6-alkyl) as defined above, or with two unbridged or bridged indenyl ligands optionally substituted in any of the ring moieties with e.g. siloxy or alkyl as defined above, e.g. at 2-, 3 -, 4- and/or 7-positions Preferred bridges are ethylene or -SiMe2.
The preparation of the metallocenes can be carried out according or analogously to the methods known from the literature and is within skills of a person skilled in the field. Thus for the preparation see e.g. EP-A-129 368, examples of compounds wherein the metal atom bears a -NRH2 ligand see i.a. in WO-A-9856831 and WO-A-0034341. For the preparation see also e.g. in EP-A-260 130, WO-A-9728170, WO-A-9846616, WO-A-9849208, WO-A-9912981, WO-A-9919335, WO-A-9856831, WO-A-00/34341, EP-A-423 101 and EP-A-537 130.
Alternatively, in a further subgroup of the metallocene compounds, the metal bears a Cp group as defined above and additionally a eta1 or eta2 ligand, wherein said ligands may or may not be bridged to each other. Such compounds are described e.g. in WO-A-9613529, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference
Highly preferred metallocene procatalysts are those listed in the examples.
Further preferred metallocenes include those of formula (I)
Cp'2HfX'2 wherein each X' is halogen, C 1-6 alkyl, benzyl or hydrogen;
Cp' is a cyclopentadienyl or indenyl group optionally substituted by a C 1-10 hydrocarbyl group or groups and being optionally bridged, e.g. via an ethylene or dimethylsilyl link. Bis (n-butylcyclopentadienyl) hafnium dichloride and Bis (n-butylcyclopentadienyl) hafnium dibenzyl are particularly preferred.
Metallocene procatalysts are generally used as part of a catalyst system which also includes a cocatalyst or catalyst activator, for example, an aluminoxane (e.g. methylaluminoxane (MAO), hexaisobutylaluminoxane and tetraisobutylaluminoxane) or a boron compound (e.g. a fluoroboron compound such as triphenylpentafluoroboron or triphentylcarbenium tetraphenylpentafluoroborate ((CgHsB+B-FsXO). The preparation of such catalyst systems is well known in the field.
If desired the procatalyst, procatalyst/cocatalyst mixture or a procatalyst/cocatalyst reaction product may be used in unsupported form or it may be precipitated and used as such. However the metallocene procatalyst or its reaction product with the cocatalyst is preferably introduced into the polymerization reactor in supported form, e.g. impregnated into a porous particulate support as is well known in the art.
The support is preferably a metal or pseudo metal oxide such as silica, alumina or zirconta or a mixed oxide such as silica-alumina, in particular silica, alumina or silica-alumina.
It has also been surprisingly found that by using single site catalysis in a multistage polymerisation, a multimodal polyethylene copolymer composition can be formed having very low density without any reactor fouling. Moreover, the high and low molecular weight components of the formed polymers are miscible and the polymer exhibits very low levels of gels.
Thus in a preferred embodiment, the invention provides a process for the preparation of a polyethylene copolymer, e.g. with at least one C4-io-alpha olefin comprising.
(I) in a first stage polymerising ethylene and at least one C4-10-alpha olefin in the presence of a single site catalyst in the slurry phase so as to form a lower molecular weight component;
transferring the resulting reaction mixture to a gas phase reactor and;
(II) polymerising ethylene and at least one C4-10-alpha olefin in the gas phase to form higher molecular weight component;
so as to yield a multimodal polyethylene copolymer having a density of less than 920 kg/m3, preferably less than 915 kg/mThe VLDPE polymer formed by the process of the invention is multimodal, e.g. bimodal. This can result from the process of the invention which involves the two separate polymerisation stages preferably a slurry polymerization, e.g. in a loop reactor, followed by a gas phase polymerization in a gas phase reactor.
The lower molecular weight polymer fraction is preferably produced in the slurry phase, e.g. in a continuously operating loop reactor where ethylene is polymerized in the presence of a polymerization catalyst as stated above and optionally a chain transfer agent such as hydrogen. The diluent’s is typically an inert aliphatic hydrocarbon, preferably isobutane or propane. For slurry reactors, the reaction temperature will generally be in the range 60 to 110°C (e.g. 85-110°C), the reactor pressure will generally be in the range 5 to 80 bar (e.g. 50 -70 bar, preferably 55 to 65 bar), and the residence time will generally be in the range 0.3 to 5 hours, eg 0.5 to 2 hours. C410 Cnalpha-olefin comonomer is added to control the density of the lower molecular weight copolymer fraction.
Preferably, the hydrogen concentration is selected so that the lower molecular weight copolymer fraction has the desired melt flow rate (MFR2). More preferably, the molar ratio of hydrogen to ethylene is between 0.1 and 1.5 mol/kmol, most preferably, between 0.2 and 1.0 mol/kmol.
The slurry is intermittently or continuously removed from the slurry phase reactor and transferred to a separation unit where at least the chain transfer agents (e.g hydrogen) are separated from the polymer. The polymer containing the active catalyst is then introduced into a gas phase reactor where the polymerization proceeds in the presence of additional ethylene, comonomer(s) and optionally chain transfer agent to produce the higher molecular weight copolymer fraction. The
polymer is intermittently or continuously withdrawn from the gas phase reactor and the remaining hydrocarbons are separated from the polymer.
The conditions in the gas phase reactor are selected so that the ethylene polymer has the desired properties. Preferably, the temperature in the reactor is between 50 and 100°C, preferably 60 to 85°C and the pressure is between 10 to 40 bar. The hydrogen to ethylene molar ratio ranges from preferably 0 to 2 mol/kmol, more preferably 0 to I mol/kmol, e.g. 0 to 0.5 mol/kmol or 0.5 to 1 mol/kmol depending on the desired end application. The alpha-olefin comonomer to ethylene molar ratio ranges from preferably ! to 100 mol/kmol, more preferably 5 to 50 mol/kmo and most preferably 5 to 30 mol/kmol.
Comonomens which can be employed in the present invention include C4.10 alpha olefms, preferably selected from but- 1-ene, hex-1-ene, 4-methyl-pent-l-ene, hept-1 -ene, oct-1 -ene, and dec-1 -ene e.g. but-1 -ene and hex-1 -ene. For example, hexene or a mixture of hexene and butene can be used in both slurry and gas phases. In one embodiment of the invention only one comonomeris used. The comonomer is e.g. hexene or butene, preferably hexene. Typically for film applications hexene is preferably used as the comonomer. In such film applications the MFR value of the VLDPE composition is preferably less than 5, more preferably less than 2 g/10 min.
According to one embodiment, the VLDPE composition comprises only one comonomer and the density of the composition is below 920 kg/m3, e.g. below 915 kg/m .
According to another embodiment, the VLDPE composition comprises one comonomer and the density of the composition is below 920 kg/m3 excluding a composition having a density of 915 kg/m3 and MFR2 of equal or more than 5 g/10 min
In another embodiment of the invention the VLDPE composition comprises at least two comonomers, such that the composition is a terpolymer. The two comonomers are preferably a mixture of hexene and butene. In a preferred multistage process, the two or more, preferably two, comonomers can be added in the same polymerisation reactor or each comonomer in a different reactor. Thus, in case of a sequential reactors, such as slurry-gas phase reactor system, the two or
more, suitably two, comonomers can both be added in the first reactor (e.g. slurry reactor) and in the subsequent reactor (e.g. the gas phase reactor).
Alternatively, the one or more, preferably two comonomers, can be added to only one of the multistage reactors,e.g. in case of loop and gas phase reactors, only one of these two reactors.
In a further embodiment the two comonomers are added each in different reactors, eg, in a multireactor system, one comonomer is added in the first reactor, such as slurry, preferably loop, and the other comonomer is added only in the subsequent reactor, such as gas reactor.
Alternatively, one of the comonomers can be added in each reactor of a multireactor system, and the other comonomer(s) only in one reactor.
According to a further embodiment the VLDPE composition comprises at least two comonomers and the density of the composition is below 920 kg/m3 excluding a composition having a density of 916 kg/m3 and a MFR2 of 3.8 g/10 min, a composition having a density of 915 kg/m3 andaMFR7of 20 g/10 min, a composition having a density of 915 kg/m3 and a MFR of 14 g/10 min and a composition having a density of 918 kg/m3 and a MFR2 of 16 g/10 min.
In a still further embodiment the VLDPE composition comprises one comonomer and has a density of less than 920 kg/m3, e.g. below 915 kg/m3, and a MFR2 of below 5 g/10 min, e.g. MFR2 of 2 to 5 g/10 min for cast film and 0.01 to 2 g/10 min for blown film.
In a preferable embodiment of the invention the composition comprises at least two comonomers at least in one of the LMW and HMW copolymer fractions. The at least two comonomers are preferably present in the HMW copolymer and optionally also in the LMW copolymer.
Further preferably, the HMW fraction is an ethylene copolymer with two comonomers and LMW fraction is an ethylene copolymer with one comonomer only, which one comonomer is typically the same as one of the comonomers of HMW copolymer. Suitably, the comonomer present in LMW copolymer is the lower molecular weight (Mw) comonomer of the at least two comonomers of the high molecular weight fraction
It has been unexpectedly found that by replacing part of the higher Mw
comonomer content with lower Mw comonomer in at least one of the LMW and HMW fractions, a polyethylene composition with at least comparable processability and mechanical properties, such as good sealing and strength (expressed as dart drop) properties, as the composition with a similar total comonomer amount (mol%), but containing only said higher Mw comonomer is formed. Surprisingly, the property balance is also obtained with a composition comprising a LMW copolymer with only a lower Mw comonomer and a HMW copolymer with lower and higher comonomers.
Typically, the copolymer composition comprises two comonomers which can be e.g. C4-C12 α-oleins as defined above, preferably hexene as the higher Mw comonomer and butene as the lower Mw comonomer. In one preferable embodiment at least HMW copolymer comprises hexene and butene. The LMW copolymer may comprise at least the lower Mw comonomer, preferably only said lower Mw comonomer, which is suitably butene.
Moreover, such polyethylene copolymer compositions of the invention with at least two comonomers can additionally have a very low density as defined above.
The composition of the invention with at least two comonomers can have a very low density combined with narrow MWD and narrow comonomer distribution resulting in very advantageous balance of mechanical and processing properties. Also low sealing initiation temperatures are obtained with the present invention, e.g. starting from 80°C. Also unexpectedly low gel levels can be obtained.
The partial replacement of higher Mw comonomer with lower Mw comonomer thus surprisingly does not sacrifice the properties previously obtainable with the use of higher Mw only. The finding that the higher Mw comonomer can partly be replaced by a lower Mw comonomer enables simplification of the polymerisation process and is also economically advantageous.
Especially in case of the composition with at least two comonomers the following comonomer contents are preferable:
the amount of the comonomer in the final composition is preferably 0,5 to 15 mol%, more preferably 0.5 to 10 mol%, such as 1.5 to 7 mol%; and/or
the amount of the comonomer in the LMW fraction is typically up 5mol%, preferably up to 3 mol%, more preferably 0.1 to 2 mol%, such as 05 to 1.5 mol%;
the amount of the comonomer in the HMW fraction is preferably ] .5 to 30 mol%, more preferably 4 to 20 mol%, such as up to 15 mol%; and/or
In case of two comonomers, the molar ratio between the lower Mw comonomer and higher Mw comonomer ((low Mw comonomer):(high Mw comonomer)) in the final composition is preferably 1:20 to 5:1, more preferably 1.10 to 3:1, such as 1:5 to2:1.
Typically, the molar ratio between the lower Mw comonomer and higher Mw comonomer in the HMW fraction is at most 2:1, preferably at most 1:1, more preferably at most 1.3, and even 1:9 may e.g. in some film applications be desired.
It was found that it is also possible to obtain said polyethylene composition with at least two comonomers with a low density and a low MFR2. Such composition is particularly useful for film applications including cast and blown films
Thus in another embodiment, the VLDPE composition comprises at least two comonomers and has a density of less than 920 kg/m3, e.g. below 915 kg/m3, and a MFR2 of below 5 g/10 min, e.g. MFR7 of 2 to 5 g/10 min for cast film and 0.01 to 2 g/10 min for blown film.
As mentioned above the VLDPE composition can be used in various end applications. If desired it can be blended with other polymer compositions or additives in a known manner. Preferably, the resulting VLDPE polymer may be formed into films or used in extrusion coating as is known in the art. The extrusion coating process may be carried out using conventional extrusion coating techniques. Hence, the VLDPE polymer obtained from the polymerisation process is fed, typicafly in the form of pellets, optionally containing additives, to an extruding device From the extruder the polymer melt is passed through a flat die to the substrate to be coated Due to the distance between the die lip and the nip, the molten plastic is oxidised in the air for a short period, usually leading to an improved adhesion between the coating and the substrate. The coated substrate is cooled on a chill roll, after which it is passed to edge trimmers and wound up. The width of the line may vary between, for example, 500 to 1500 mm, e.g. 800 to 1100 mm, with a line speed of up to 1000 m/min, for instance 300 to 800 m/min. The
temperature of the polymer melt is typically between 275 and 330°C.
Alternatively, the VLDPE polymer can be passed to a conventional film line and extruded and blown into polymer film.
The VLDPE can be used for forming a monolayer or multilayer film or extrusion coat in a manner known in the art.
The multimodal VLDPE composition of the invention can be extruded onto the substrate or blown as a film as a monolayer or as one layer in coextrusion. In either of these case it is possible to use the multimodal VLDPE composition as such or to blend it with other polymers, especially LDPE so that the blend contains from 0 to 50%, preferably/from 10 to 40% and in particular 15 to 35% of LDPE, based on the weight of the final blend. Said LDPE preferably having a melt index of at least 3 g/10 min, preferably at least 6.5 g/10 min, particularly in extrusion coating. In such a case blending can occur in a post reactor treatment or just prior to the extrusion. The blend may be extruded as a monolayer or it may be coextruded with other polymer(s) as is known in the art
In a multilayer extrusion coating or film process, the other layers may comprise any polymer resin having the desired properties and processability. Examples of such polymers include: barrier layer PA (polyamide) and EVA; polar copolymers of ethylene, such as copolymers of ethylene and vinyl alcohol or copolymers of ethylene and an acrylate monomer; adhesive layers, e.g. ionomers, copolymers of ethylene and ethyl acrylate, etc; HDPE for stiffness; polypropylene for improving heat resistance and grease resistance; LDPE resins produced in a high-pressure process; LLDPE resins produced by polymerising ethylene and alpha-olefm comonomers in the presence of a Ziegler, chromium or metallocene catalyst; and MDPE resins
The substrate for extrusion coating is preferably a fibre based material such as paper or cardboard. The substrate may also be a film made of, for example, polyester, cellophane, polyamide, polypropylene or oriented polypropylene. Other suitable substrates include aluminium foil.
The coating will typically be 10 to 1000 µm in thickness, especially 20 to 100 µm The specific thickness will be selected according to the nature of the substrate and its expected subsequent handling conditions. The substrate may be as thick as
10 to 1000 µm, e.g, 6 to 300 µm.
In addition to the polymer itself, the coatings or films of the invention may also contain antioxidants, process stabilizers, pigments and other additives known in the art. Moreover, the polyethylene polymer of the invention may be blended with other polymers while retaining sealing and mechanical properties suitable for the desired end-uses. Examples of such further polymers which may be used include LDPE, HOPE, MDPE, LLDPE, EMA, EBA, and EVA. Typically, up to about 50% wt of the overall polymer may be constituted by much further polymers, more preferably up to 30% wt in the case of HOPE, MDPE or LLDPE.
The polymer films formed from the polymer of the invention exhibit very high dart drop values from 1000 to 1700 g (measured according ISO 7765 -I, method "A using 40 micron blown film samples) depending on the used comonomer(s), i.e. with at least two, e.g. terpolymers, values of 1000 to 1500 g is obtained and with the use of only one comonomer, e.g. hexane, values of 1500-1700 are typically obtained Normally such high values are obtained mainly for unimodal single site grades
Also good hot-tack and/or tear properties are obtained.
Accordingly, the seal which is formed between the surfaces to be sealed is put under load while it is still warm. This means that the hot-tack properties of the polyethylene are crucial to ensure a strong seat is formed even before cooling. All polymers have a window within which sealing may occur, i.e. in which the extrudate becomes partly molten. Traditionally this sealing window has been rather narrow meaning that temperature control during the heat sealing process is critical. The polymers of the invention allow a broader sealing window so allowing the sealing operation to take place at lower temperature and ensuring that temperature control during heat sealing is less important. By operating at lower temperature there are the benefits that the article to be sealed is not exposed to high temperature and any other component of the extrusion coating or film which may not be involved in sealing are also not exposed to high temperature. There are also economic advantages since lower temperatures are of course cheaper to generate and maintain.
The present invention will now be illustrated further by the following non -limiting Examples and figure. Figure 1 shows the gel contents of the films of
examples 14 to 18,
Determination methods and definitions used in claims, in above description and in experimental part:
Melt flow rate (MFR, sometimes also referred to as melt index) according to ISO 1133, at 190°C. The load used in the measurement is indicated as a subscript, i e. MFR2 denotes the MFR measured under 2.16 kg load.
The molecular weight averages and molecular weight distribution were measured on a Watejrs Alliance GPCV2000 SEC instrument with on-line viscometer at 140 degrees Celsius using 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene (TCB) stabilized with 2,6-di-tertbutyl-4-methylphenol (BHT) as aneluenl. A set of two mixed bed and one 107 A TSK-Gel columns from TosoHaas was used and the system was calibrated with NMWD polystyrene standards (from Polymer laboratories). The analyses were carried out following the principles of standard test methods ISO 16014-2:2003 and ISO 16014-4:2003.
Density was determined according to ISO 1183-1987.
Comonomer contents, e.g. but-1-ene and hex-1-ene contents, of the polymers were determined by 13C NMR in a manner known in the art and patent literature.
Melting points (melting temperature) and crystallinity were determined by DSC (Differential Scanning Calorimetry) using Mettler Toledo DSC822 measurement melting at 180°C for 5 min, cooling IO°C per min to 0°C and when heated from 0°C to 180°C heat increase of 10°C per min.
Gel contents were determined as follows: polymer samples were mixed with polymer stabilizer, B215 (a blend of Irganox), prior to pelletizing. 200 g of polymer pellets were extruded to a film with thickness of 80 um and broadness of 80 mm, extruding speed 70mm/s (extruder: COLLIN, gel counter: SEMYRE). Gels in the size range of below 60, between 50 and 150, 150-600, 600-1005 and above 1005 Urn were recorded by scanning method known in the art. Gels with a length above 0.15 mm were then summarized and used as the most indicative parameter for the quality of the film product In case of gels (silica or polymer) the transparency drops, those spots are recorded as gels
Rheology of the polymers was determined using Rheometrics RDA II Dynamic Rheometer. The measurements were carried out at 190°C under nitrogen atmosphere. The measurements gave storage modulus (G') and loss modulus (G") together with absolute value of complex viscosity (TI*) as a function of frequency (co) or absolute value of complex modulus (G*).
According to Cox-Merz rule complex viscosity function, TI*(CO) is the same as conventional viscosity function (viscosity as a function of shear rate), if frequency is taken in rad/s. If this empirical equation is valid absolute value of complex modulus corresponds shear stress in conventional (that is steady state) viscosity measurements. This means that function n*(G*) is the same as viscosity as a function of shear stress.
In the present method both viscosity at a low shear stress or n* at a low G* (which serve as an approximation of so called zero viscosity) and zero shear rate viscosity were used as a measure of average molecular weight On the other hand, shear thinning, that is the decrease of viscosity with G*, gets more pronounced the broader is the molecular weight distribution. This property can be approximated by defining a so-called shear thinning index, SHI, as a ratio of viscosities at two different shear stresses. In the examples below the shear stresses (or G*) 1 and 100 kPa were used. Thus.where
As mentioned above storage modulus function, G'(et)), and loss modulus function, G"(to), were obtained as primary functions from dynamic measurements. The value of the storage modulus at a specific value of loss modulus increases with broadness of molecular weight distribution. However this quantity is highly dependent on the shape of molecular weight distribution of the polymer. In the examples the value of Gs at G" = 5 IcPa was used. As to shear thinning index (SHI) calculations, which is correlating with MWD and is independent of Mw, reference is made to Heino ("Rheological characterization of polyethylene fractions" Heino, E.L,, Lehtinen, A., Tanner J., Seppala, J., Neste Oy, Porvoo, Finland, Theor. Appl, Rheol., Proc. Int Cohgr. Rheol, I Ith (1992), 1, 360- 362, and "The influence of molecular structure on some rheological properties of polyethylene", Heino, E.L., Borcalis Polymers Oy, Porvoo, Finland, Annual Transactions of the Nordic Rheology Society, 1995.).
Dart-drop is measured using ISO 7765-1, method "A". A dart with a 38 mm diameter hemispherical head is dropped from a height of 0.66 m onto a film clamped over a hole. If the specimen fails, the weight of the dart is reduced and if it does not fail the weight is increased. At least 20 specimens are tested. The weight resulting in failure of 50% of the specimens is calculated.
Catalyst Preparation Example 1:
134 grams of a metallocene complex (bis (n-butyldicyclopentadienyl) hafnium dichloride supplied by Witco as TA02823, containing 0.36 % by weight Hf) and 9.67 kg of a 30% solution of methyl alumoxane (MAO) in toluene (supplied by Albemarle) were combined and 3.18 kg dry, purified toluene was added. The thus obtained complex solution was added on 17 kg silica carrier Sylopol 55 SJ by Grace. The complex was fed very slowly with uniform spraying during 2 hours. Temperature was kept below 30°C. The mixture was allowed to react for 3 hours after complex addition at 30°C. The thus obtained solid catalyst was dried by purging it with nitrogen at 50°C for three hours and recovered.
Catalyst Preparation Example 2:
by using benzyl potassium
Synthesis of benzyl potassium
First, 200 mmol of potassium tert-butoxide (Ftuka 60100,97%) was dissolved in 250 ml toluene. Next, 200 mmol of n-butyllithium (-2.5 M solution in hexanes, Aldrieh) was added during 1.5 hours. The mixture turned from white into red. The mixture was stirred for 2.5 days. It was then filtrated and washed with toluene (5x 100 ml) and pentane (50 ml). As a result 21.7 grams benzyl potassium was obtained as brick red, toluene insoluble solid. Yield was 83%.
'H-NMR in THF-d8, 5(ppm): 6.01 (m, 2H), 5.10 (d, 2H), 4.68 (t, 1H), 2.22 (s, 2H). Chemical shifts are referenced to the solvent signal at 3.60 ppm. 13C-NMR in THF-dt(, 5(ppm): 152.3, 129.4, 110.1,94.3, 51.6. Chemical shifts are referenced to the solvent signal at 66.50 (the middle peak).
Synthesis of (n-BuCp^HfrCH2Ph)2
6.87 mmol bis(n-butylcyclopentadienyl)hafnium dichloride and 150 ml of toluene
were mixed at 20°C to give brown-grey solution. Then, 14.74 mmol of benzylpotassium prepared as described above was added to the solution at 0°C as a solid during 10 minutes. The cooling bath was removed and the mixture was stirred at 2G°C for 3 hours. Solvent was removed under reduced pressure and the remainder was extracted with 3 x 30 ml of pentane. The solvent was removed from the combined pentane solutions giving 3.86 g of (n-BuCp)2Hfl(CH2Ph)2 as a yellow liquid. Yield 93%.
'H-NMR in toluene-d8, 5(ppm): 7.44 (t, 4H), 7.11 (d, 4H), 7.08 (t, 2H), 5.75 (m, 4H), 5 67 (m, 4H), 1'33 (t, 4H), 1.77 (s, 4H), 1.54 (m, 4H), 1 43 (m, 4H), 1.07 (t, 6H). Chemical shifts are referenced to the solvent signal at 2.30 ppm (the middle peak). I3C-NMR in toluene-d8,5(ppm): 152.7, 137.5, 128, 126.8, 121.6, 112.7, 110.5, 65.3, 34.5, 29.7, 22.8, 14.1. Chemical shifts are referenced to the solvent signal at 20.46 (the middle peak). Elemental analysis: C 63.57% (calc. 63,72), H 6.79% (calc. 6.68), Hf 29.78% (calc. 29.59), K Catalyst Support and Activation
The metal locene was supported and activated as in Catalyst Preparation Example 1, except that the 134 grams of (n -BuCp2HfC2 was replaced by 164 grams of (n-BuCp)zHf(CH2Ph)2 prepared as described above and as the silica carrier SP9-391 (supplied by Grace) was used.
A continuously operated loop reactor having a volume 500 dm3 was operated at 85°C temperature and 58 bar pressure. Into the reactor were introduced propane diluent, ethylene, but-1-ene comonomer, hydrogen and the polymerisation catalyst 1 prepared according to Catalyst example 1. In such amounts that the ethylene concentration in the liquid phase of the loop reactor was 6 mol-%, the ratio of hydrogen to ethylene was 0,64 mol/kmol, the ratio of but-1-ene to ethylene was 185 mol/kmol and the polymer production rate in the reactor was 28 kg/h. The thus
formed polymer had a melt index MFR2 of 115 g/10 min and a density of 936 kg/m3
The slurry was intermittently withdrawn from the reactor by using a settling leg and directed to a flash tank operated at a temperature of about 50°C and a pressure of about 3 bar.
From the flash tank the powder, containing a small amount of residual hydrocarbons, was transferred into a gas phase reactor operated at 75°C temperature and 20 bar pressure. Into the gas phase reactor also introduced additional ethylene, but-!-ene comonomerand nitrogen as inert gas in such amounts that the ethylene concentration in the circulating gas was 22% by mole, the ratio of hydrogen to ethylene was about 1.1, the ratio of but-1-ene to ethylene was 55 mol/kmol and the polymer production rate was 30 kg/h.
The production split between the loop and gas phase reactors was thus 48/52.
The procedure of Example 1 was repeated except that the process conditions were adjusted as shown in Table 1. The polymer collected from the gas phase reactor was stabilised by adding to the powder 460 ppm IrganoxB561. The stabilised polymer was the extruded and pelletised under nitrogen atmosphere with CIM90P extruder, manufactured by Japan Steel Works. The melt temperature was 217 °C, throughput 280 kg/h and the specific energy input (SEI) was 200 kWh/t.
The procedure of Example 1 was repeated except that the process conditions were adjusted as shown in Table 1
The procedure of Example 2 was repeated except that the process conditions were adjusted as shown in Table 1
The procedure of Example 2 was repeated except that the process conditions were adjusted as shown in Table I,
Table I: Polymerisation conditions and the product properties of the obtained products of examples 1-5
Pellet properties Table 2
Examples 6 toll
Examples 6 to 11 were carried out according to procedures described in Example 1 using the conditions etc in the table 3 below. Examples 7 to 13 employed catalyst 2 (see above catalyst preparation Example 2).
Example 12 and 13
Examples 12 and 13 employed catalyst 2 (for the preparation, see above catalyst preparation Example 2). The procedure of Example 1 was repeated except that the process conditions were adjusted as shown in Table 3, and a settling leg was not used and gas phase polymerisation took place at 80°C. The polymer collected from the gas phase reactor was stabilised by adding to the powder 500 ppm Irganox 1010 and 1000 ppm Irgafos 168. The stabilised polymer was the extruded and pelletised under nitrogen atmosphere with CIM90P extuder, manufactured by Japan Steel Works The melt temperature was 213°C, throughput 220 kg/h and the specific energy input (SEI) was 249 kWh/t
In example 13 the actual polymerisation step as described in table 3 was preceded by a prepolymensation step the conditions of which are given in table 3a, The prepolymerised product was transferred immediately to the loop reactor to polymerise the LMW fraction in the presence of prepolymer.
Table 3a: Prepolymerisation step of example 13
Pellet properties Table 4
Examples 14 to 18:
The catalyst 2, prepared according to Catalyst preparation example 2 above, was used for the preparation of a bimodal film polymer (MFRi = 0.2-1 g/10 min, density = 903-917 kg/m3) using an 8 I benchscale reactor with continuous monomer and comonomer feed. The bimodat polymers were made using the following procedure:
Step I: Slurry polymerisation
The comonomer used was 1-butene (100 ml). The molecular weight of the slurry product was adjusted with a blending gas comprising 2980 ppm hydrogen. The monomer (ethylene) partial pressure was 6.2 bar, total pressure 21 bar. Reactor temperature 85°C, slurry liquid isobutane, volume 3.8 I.
Step 2: Gas phase polymerisation (for producing the higher molecular weight fraction with low density and a higher amount of incorporated comonomer)
The comonomer used was a mixture of 1-butene and 1-hexene. The inert gas used was either nitrogen or n-propane. The monomer (ethylene) partial pressure was 6.2 bar, total pressure 21 bar. Reactor temperature 70°C. Step split 50/50. Table 5 summarises the polymerisation conditions.
The bimodal polymers of examples 14-18 were then mixed with 1500 ppm of polymer stabilizer, B215 (a blend of Irganox), prior to pelletizing. 200 g of polymer pellets were then extruded to a film (broadness, 80 mm, thickness, 80 uin). Gels in the size range of below 60, between 50 and 150, 150-600, 600-1005 and above 1005 UJTI were recorded. Gels with a length above 0.15 mm were then summarized and used as the most indicative parameter for the quality of the film product. Results are summarised in Table 6.
The gel content of the bimodal polymer was surprisingly low especially in case of terpolymers The group of polymers of the invention with two or more comonomers, preferably terpolymers, are represented by examples 14 to 16 (butene/hexene - 1/1) in step 2 as shown in table 5.
These results are shown graphically in Figure 1
1. A film comprising a multimodal copolymer of ethylene comprising at least (i) a lower molecular weight fraction of a copolymer of ethylene and at least one alpha -olefin comonomer and (ii) a higher molecular weight fraction of a copolymer of ethylene and at least one alpha-olefin comonomer, wherein said higher molecular weight fraction comprises at least one different alpha-olefin comonomer than is used in the low molecular weight fraction; wherein said copolymer has a density below 915 kg/m3 and a Mw/Mn of 2.5 to 10.
2. A copolymer as claimed in claim 1 having a density of 912 kg/m3or less.
3. A copolymer as claimed claim 1 or 2 wherein the copolymer has a melt flow rate (MFR2) of 0.05 g/10 min or more, preferably 0.5 to 20 g/10 min.
4. A copolymer as claimed in claim 3 wherein the copolymer has an MFR2 of 0.8 to 15 g/10 min.
5. A copolymer as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 4 wherein the MFR2 of the lower molecular weight fraction is 50 to 300 g/10 min.
6. A copolymer as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5 wherein the weight ratio of low molecular fraction to high molecular fraction is 40:60 to 60:40.
7. A film as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6 wherein either the lower molecular weight or higher molecular weight fraction comprises at least two comonomers.
8. A film as claimed in claim 7 wherein the higher molecular weight fraction comprises at least two comonomers.
9. A film as claimed in claim 8 wherein the higher molecular weight fraction comprises at least two comonomers, one comonomer of lower molecular weight and one comonomer of higher molecular weight and wherein said lower molecular weight fraction comprises said lower molecular weight comonomer.
10. A film as claimed in claim 9 wherein the higher molecular weight fraction comprises comonomers hexene and butene and the lower molecular weight fraction comprises butene as comonomer.
11. A process for preparing an ethylene copolymer as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 10 wherein (a) the low molecular weight fraction (i) is produced by polymerising ethylene with at least one alpha-olefin comonomer in the presence of a polymerisation catalyst such as herein described and (b) the high molecular weight fraction (ii) is produced by polymersing ethylene with at least one alpha-olefin comonomer in the presence of a polymerisation catalyst such as herein described, wherein said higher molecular weight fraction comprises at least one different alpha-olefin commoner than is used in the lower molecular weight fraction, to obtain an ethylene copolymer having to obtain a copolymer having density a density below 915 kg/m3 and a Mw/Mn of 2.5 to 10; optionally extruding the obtained composition to form polymer pellets; and forming said ethylene copolymer into a film such as herein described.
12. A process as claimed in claim 11 wherein the copolymer is prepared in a continuous process.
13. A process as claimed in claim 12 wherein step (a) takes place in the slurry phase and step (b) in the gas phase.
14. A process as claimed in claim 13 wherein said slurry phase takes place in a loop reactor.
15. A process as claimed in any one of claims 11 to 14 wherein the same polymerisation catalyst is used to form both fractions.
16. A process as claimed in any one of claims 11 to 15 wherein the high molecular weight fraction (ii) is produced in the presence of the low molecular weight fraction and the polymerisation catalyst used in step (a).
17. A process as claimed in claim 11 to 16 wherein said catalyst is a single site catalyst.
18. A process for the preparation of a polyethylene copolymer comprising:
(I) in a first stage polymerising ethylene and at least one C 4-10-alpha olefin in the
presence of a single site catalyst in the slurry phase so as to form a lower molecular
weight component; transferring the resulting reaction mixture to a gas phase reactor
(II) polymerising ethylene and at least one C4-10-alpha olefin in the gas phase in the
presence of the reaction mixture obtained from state (I) wherein said higher molecular
weight fraction comprises at least one different alpha-olefin comonomer than is used
in the lower molecular weight fraction; so as to form a higher molecular weight
component; so as to yield a multimodal polyethylene copolymer having a density
below 915 kg/m3 and a Mw/Mn of 2.5 to 10.
19. A film as claimed in claim 1 wherein said film is a blow film comprising a copolymer
having an MFR2 of 0.05 to 3.0 g/10 min, such as MFR2 20. A film as claimed in claim 1 wherein the film is a cast film comprising a copolymer an MFR2 of 2-5 g/10 min.
|Indian Patent Application Number||4288/DELNP/2007|
|PG Journal Number||18/2012|
|Date of Filing||06-Jun-2007|
|Name of Patentee||BOREALIS TECHNOLOGY OY|
|Applicant Address||P.O.BOX 330, FIN-06101 PORVOO, FINLAND|
|PCT International Classification Number||C08F 297/08|
|PCT International Application Number||PCT/EP2005/013947|
|PCT International Filing date||2005-12-22|