Crystallization analysis fractionation of poly(ethylene-co-styrene) produced by metallocene catalysts
Ethylene homo polymer and ethylene–styrene copolymers were synthesized using Cp₂ZrCl₂ (1)/methyl aluminoxane (MAO) and rac-silylene-bis (indenyl) zirconium dichloride (2)/MAO catalyst systems by varying styrene concentration and reaction conditions. Crystallization analysis fractionation (CRYSTAF), DSC, FTIR and ¹H NMR spectroscopy were used for characterizing the synthesized polymers. Interestingly, styrene was able to increase the activity of 1/MAO and 2/MAO catalyst systems at low concentrations, but at higher concentrations the activity decreases. The 1/MAO system at low and high pressure was unable to incorporate styrene, and the final product was pure polyethylene. On the other hand, with 2/MAO polymerization of ethylene and styrene yielded copolymer containing both styrene and ethylene. Results obtained from CRYSTAF and DSC reveal that on using 1/MAO system at high pressure, the resulting polymer in the presence of styrene has similar crystallinity as the polymer produced without styrene. Using both 1/MAO at low pressure and 2/MAO leads to decrease in crystallinity with increase in styrene concentration, even though the former does not incorporate styrene.