Effect of operating parameters on time to decomposition of high density polyethylene and chlorinated polyethylenes

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An investigation was made to determine the influence of furnace temperature (500-800 °C), concentration of oxygen in the gas flow (0-100%, v v) and sample mass (2-15 mg) on the decomposition time of several polymers. These were high density polyethylene and chlorinated polyethylenes (25, 36 and 42% by mass chlorine). Thermal oxidative degradation was undertaken in a Du Pont 951 thermogravimetric analyzer in the isothermal mode using a gas flow of 0.833 ml s-1, STP. The results indicated that the average sample heating rate influenced the decomposition time most. Operating at higher furnace temperature (≥ 700°C) and using a small sample mass (≤ 2.5 mg) reduced the variance in td. The activation energy for decomposition of the polymers was 39.3 ± 0.5 kJ mol-1. © 1987.

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Thermochimica Acta