Polyalkene composites often show superior properties compared to conventional polymers based on the properties of the filler used. This increases the polymer/filler interfacial area and therefore the desirable mechanical properties of the thermoplastics. Increasing popularity of these materials will demand an analysis of their durability in outdoor applications, especially on exposure to the harsh UV and thermal conditions in the Kingdom. Furthermore, it will be useful to develop accelerated test protocols that allow the outdoor lifetimes to be assessed in the laboratory. We propose to develop composites using LDPE and HDPE polymers from SABIC with asphaltene. Asphaltene is a solid undesirable material found in crude oils. Asphaltene creates severe problems to the refining process of the crude oil. Asphaltene have a higher C/H ratio and possesses fused aromatic rings bearing long chain aliphatic hydrocarbons. The asphaltene as fillers will be evaluated for most commonly used thermoplastics. In the first part of the project, we will prepare three compositions each of LDPE and HDPE composites with asphaltene using different ratios. We will undertake 6, 12 and 18-month outdoor exposure of the LDPE and HDPE composites at a suitable location. We will also carry out parallel laboratory accelerated exposures in a suitable weatherometer. The data will shed light on accelerated test conditions of composites that best fit the harsh outdoor exposures in the Kingdom. Asphaltene will be used for the first time as a filler with LDPE and HDPE polymers and the stability results will be very useful for the local industries. The research team for the project constitutes of renowned experts in the fields of composite polymers, polymer degradation and characterization. Additionally, experts with a vast knowledge and insights into sample preparation, exposure trails, and data management form an integral part of this project.
|Effective start/end date||11/04/16 → 11/08/18|
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