Polymer Engineering Faculty Research


Decrosslinking of crosslinked high-density polyethylene via ultrasonically aided single-screw extrusion

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-2014


A novel environmentally friendly process for decrosslinking of the peroxide crosslinked HDPE (XHDPE) via ultrasonic assisted single (SSE) is developed and its process characteristics are established. The specific ultrasonic energy decreases with the flow rate and increases with the ultrasonic amplitude, while die pressure increases with the flow rate and decreases with the ultrasonic amplitude. Application of ultrasonic treatment during extrusion enables an increase of productivity. Gel fraction, crosslink density, dynamic and mechanical properties, and thermal behavior of the virgin HDPE, XHDPE, and decrosslinked XHDPE are measured. Gel fraction and crosslink density of the decrosslinked XHDPE are decreased with increasing flow rate and ultrasonic amplitude. A unique linear relation between the normalized gel fraction and the normalized crosslink density is found, regardless of the type of extruders and processing conditions. SEM images reveals that the decrosslinked XHDPE is a composite of submicron size gel particles embedded in its sol matrix. The sol extracted from the decrosslinked XHDPE exhibits a higher complex viscosity and higher level of branching than the virgin HDPE. An increase of the ultrasonic amplitude leads to a decrease of the complex viscosity, storage and loss moduli, and an increase of the loss tangent of the decrosslinked XHDPE. The thermal behavior and mechanical properties of the decrosslinked XHDPE show a weak dependency on processing conditions. At some processing conditions, mechanical properties of the decrosslinked XHDPE are close or higher to those of XHDPE. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 54:2715–2730, 2014. © 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers

Publication Title

Polymer Engineering & Science





First Page


Last Page