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Role of phenol and phosphite antioxidant combinations in the thermal stabilisation of metallocene LLDPE (mLLDPE): Optimisation and performance and influence of metal stearates on multiple extrusions

Allen, NS and Edge, M and Liauw, CM and Hoang, E (2018) Role of phenol and phosphite antioxidant combinations in the thermal stabilisation of metallocene LLDPE (mLLDPE): Optimisation and performance and influence of metal stearates on multiple extrusions. Polymer Degradation and Stability, 152. pp. 208-217. ISSN 0141-3910

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Abstract

© 2018 This study progresses our earlier studies and takes the performance characteristics of a 1:1 Irganox 1010: Irgafos 168 combination at 1000 ppm each through multiple extrusion processes in a metallocene LLDPE (mLLDPE) investigating for the first time the role of a broad range of calcium and zinc stearates based on animal vs vegetable origins of the stearine function. In this case performance was assessed using Melt Flow Rate (MFR) coupled with HPLC to determine not only the additive depletions after processing but also the rate of production of the phosphite to phosphonate. Comparative control studies were also undertaken on the single use of the separate antioxidants. Both stearates influenced the activity of the antioxidants in particular their consumption. A greater consumption after the third and fifth extrusion was observed with metal stearates produced from the vegetable stearine. Moreover, zinc stearates seemed to provide a greater detrimental effect than calcium stearates. Hydroperoxide analysis on the stearates confirmed the animal stearine to contain higher levels of peroxides which may contribute toward the higher activity. The optimisation of the thermal stabilisation of the metallocene polyethylene (mLLDPE) has also been investigated in this study. Several conditions of stability were determined for the determination of the optimal antioxidant (phenol:phosphite) ratio. The main parameter was high melt stability for a maximum processing stability of the final package via DSC analysis (OIT) coupled with assessments of embrittlement time (oven ageing) and yellowness index. Long-term stability against thermo-oxidation was considered coupled with a consideration of their hydrolytic stability as a complicating factor. In this work the (phenol/phosphite) antioxidant formulations with two different phenolic antioxidants (Irganox 1010, Irganox 1076) and six different phosphite antioxidants (Irgafos 168, Irgafos P-EPQ, Adekastab PEP-8, Adekastab PEP-36, Adekastab PEP-24G, Adekastab HP-10) were assessed at different levels taking into account the various criteria for optimal performance providing hitherto useful information than many prior studies on 1:1% ratios i.e. how much phosphite is required for optimal activity. A question often posed in the field with the results concluding an interesting unified optimum ratio of 4:1 (for most antioxidants studied) taking into account all the critical parameters.

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