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Title: Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene for high-demanding applications : synthesis upscaling and advances in processing and composites
Author: Forte, Giuseppe
ISNI:       0000 0004 7970 9863
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis is based on a collection of papers and patents published and filed between 2010 and 2017 and added as appendixes 1 to 16. The objective of the work was to study the influence of certain reaction parameters to achieve a profitable industrial scale production of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene UHMWPE with reduced number of entanglements, aiming to establish the: most cost-effective chemicals to use for highest amount of product per batch with a targeted product morphology to achieve best processability in continuous solid state processing (chapter 3); targeted molecular weight of the product to achieve desired performances in the commercial article (chapter 4); addition of functionalities to improve product synthesis and processability as well as to increase performances and renovate manufacturing of new articles (chapter 5). In this work most of the issues on synthesis upscaling have been addressed and some solutions presented have allowed the first successful upscaling to 500 L reactor in the synthesis of nascent disentangled UHMWPE. A systematic study of mechanical properties vs molar mass vs reaction conditions is presented, proving a direct correlation between the three. Such correlation was present even in the preliminary data for thermal conductivity of thin films of UHMWPE. Moreover, novel routes to prepare UHMWPE composites by benefitting the unique processability of nascent disentangled UHMWPE have been described. In addition, the synthesis of disentangled UHMWPE from supported catalysts and the preliminary tests in absence of solvent media have the potential to unlock the upscaling to regular continuous gas phase reactor.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Materials Engineering not elsewhere classified ; UHMWPE ; Catalysis ; Synthesis ; Composites ; Rheology ; Polyethylene ; Thermal Conductivity ; Disentangled