(31d) Applications of Fundamental Polymer Science to Increase the Performance and Efficiency of Polymeric Additives
AIChE Annual Meeting
Sunday, November 13, 2022 - 5:00pm to 5:30pm
As scientists and engineers, we enjoy studying the physical world, but our greatest value is when we utilize our knowledge to improve the world. With this in mind, I have quite enjoyed the opportunity at Dow to use my education in the fundamentals of polymer science to increase the performance and efficiency of polymeric additives. For example, we added an acrylic process aid to increase the tensile strength of oriented poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC), which is a stronger and lighter material for water transmission pipes. Another example was when we used the monomer composition to further increase the molecular weight and efficiency of a high molecular weight acrylic process aid for production of foam PVC, which is more sustainable than many other building materials. A final example was when we used alternate crosslinking chemistries and processes to increase the homogeneity and efficiency of acrylic core-shell impact modifiers, which increase the longevity and resilience in all PVC building applications. In all of these examples, the fundamental understanding of the chemical, physical, and mechanical processes led to practical improvements in the technology, and this mindset will apply to my current and future work on polyethylene formulations for the insulation and jackets of wire and cable products. Power cable products and telecommunications products are becoming more and more important because the energy demand is growing quickly and renewable energy must be transmitted long distances, plus data transmission demands are growing very quickly as well.