(705a) Fundamental Studies On the Radical Initiated Grafting of Vinyltrimethoxysilane Onto Polymeric Models

Nixon, E., Georgia Institute of Technology
Momim, F., Georgia Institute of Technology
Jha, R., Georgia Institute of Technology
Verma, M., Georgia Institute of Technology
Gelbaum, L., Georgia Institute of Technology

Cross-linked polyethylenes have widespread applications such as insulators for current-carrying wires/cables and for hot water pipes, owing in part to their high upper use temperatures compared to non-crosslinked polyethylenes. Industrially, cross-linked polyethylene is often prepared via radical initiated grafting of polyethylene with vinyltrimethoxysilane (VTMS) followed by moisture curing. The efficiency of the grafting reaction is not optimal, as a large portion of the VTMS remains un-reacted and controlling the distribution and extent of grafting is difficult. We present our studies of VTMS grafting reactions on polymeric models to gain improved fundamental understanding of the radical initiated grafting mechanism.  In particular, we will present experimental results using dodecane and heptane as model compounds.