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Structure And Properties Of A Metallocene Polypropylene Resin With Low Melting Temperature For Melt Spinning Fiber Application

Renwei Xu, Peng Zhang, Hai Wang, Xu Chen, Jie Xiong, Jinpeng Su, Peng Chen, Zhicheng Zhang

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An isotactic polypropylene (iPP-1) resin with low melting temperature (Tm) is synthesized by a metallocene catalyst and investigated for melt-spun fiber applications. The structure, thermal and mechanical properties, and feasibility of producing fibers of a commercial metallocene iPP (iPP-2) and a conventional Ziegler–Natta iPP (iPP-3) are carefully examined for comparison. Tm of iPP-1 is about 10 °C lower than the other two samples, which is well addressed both in the resin and the fiber products. Besides, the newly developed iPP-1 possesses higher isotacticity and crystallinity than the commercial ones, which assures the mechanical properties of the fiber products. Thanks to the addition of calcium stearate, its crystal grain size is smaller than those of the two other commercial iPPs. iPP-1 shows a similar rheological behavior as the commercial ones and good spinnability within a wide range of take-up speeds (1200–2750 m/min). The tensile property of fibers from iPP-1 is better than commercial ones, which can fulfill the application requirement. The formation of the mesomorphic phase in iPP-1 during melt spinning is confirmed by the orientation and crystallization investigation with wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD), which is responsible for its excellent processing capability and the mechanical properties of the resultant fibers. The work may provide not only a promising candidate for the high-performance PP fiber but also a deep understanding of the formation mechanism of the mesomorphic phase during fiber spinning.