Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

First Advisor

Werner J. Wenisch

Second Advisor

Richard Clyde Parker

Third Advisor

David S. Kristol


Polyethylene because of its excellent chemical, physical, mechanical and electrical properties, as well as its easy adaptability to extrusion, molding and other processes and its low cost has become a very widely used material for hundreds of applications. But, because it is a thermoplastic, it also deforms and flows when temperatures approach or exceed the crystalline melting point. This handicap, however, can be reduced by crosslinking the polymer chains and thereby converting the thermoplastic to a thermoset material. To further expand the possible uses of this popular material and to further improve the properties, fillers and antioxidants may be compounded in the polymer in the same manner as in rubber compounding.

In this investigation cross-linked polyethylene specimens were prepared containing different amounts of antioxidants and the resistance of these specimens to thermal and oxidative degradation at elevated temperature was tested by stress-relaxation techniques. It was observed that the presence of a very small amount of antioxidant does improve the performance of cross-linked polyethylene at elevated temperature.



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