Morphological and mechanical properties of nascent polyethylene fibers produced via ethylene extrusion polymerization with a metallocene catalyst supported on MCM-41 particles

Zhibin Ye, Shiping Zhu, Wen Jun Wang, Hatem Alsyouri, Y. S. Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations


Polyethylene (PE) fibers were prepared by ethylene extrusion polymerization with an MCM-41-supported titanocene catalyst. The morphological and mechanical properties of these nascent PE fibers were investigated. Three levels of fibrous morphologies were identified in the fiber samples through an extensive scanning electron microscopy study. Extended-chain PE nanofibrils with diameters of about 60 nm were the major morphological units present in the fiber structure. The nanofibrils were parallel-packed into individual microfibers with diameters of about 1-30 μm. The microfibers were further aggregated irregularly into fiber aggregates and bundles. In comparison with commercial PE fibers and data reported in the literature, the individual microfibers produced in situ via ethylene extrusion polymerization without posttreatment exhibited a high tensile strength (0.3-1.0 GPa), a low tensile modulus (3.0-7.0 GPa), and a high elongation at break (8.5-20%) at 35°C. The defects in the alignment of the nanofibrils were believed to be the major reason for the low modulus values. It was also found that a slight tensile drawing could increase the microfiber strength and modulus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2433-2443
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Polymer Science, Part B: Polymer Physics
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2003
Externally publishedYes



  • Crystal
  • Drawing
  • Ethylene extrusion polymerization
  • Fiber morphology
  • Mechanical properties
  • Mobil composition of matter 41 (MCM-41)
  • Nanofabrication
  • Nascent polyethylene fibers
  • Supported metallocene catalyst
  • Tensile modulus
  • Tensile strength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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