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The standard of viscosity method to measure the molecular weight of UHMW-PE

Date:2016-2-25 14:32

The viscosity-average molecular weight of most UHMW-PE pipes in China is 2,000,000 - 4,000,000 at present, while it is usually 4,000,000 - 6,000,000 in the United States. In recent years, one company even developed UHMW-PE with 10,000,000 viscosity average molecular weight. Because the molecular weight range of UHMW-PE is so wide, the accurate measurement of the molecular weight is very necessary.
For the users of UHMW-PE pipes, viscosity method is simple, convenient, quick and economic, so it has become the preferred measuring method. ASTM D4020 2011 provides the test process of viscosity method on UHMW-PE, but the standard to measure the molecular weight of UHMW-PE with viscosity method has not been issued in China. GB/T 1632.3 - 2010 specifies only the relevant provisions on the molecular weight determination of polyethylene and polypropylene, does not specify the specific provisions of the test on the molecular weight of UHMW-PE with viscosity method.
In view of the present status, the main aim of the study is as follows:
To verify whether Ubbelohde viscometer in American Standard ASTM D4020 - 2011 is suitable to the molecular weight of general UHMW-PE in China;
To discuss whether Ostwald viscometer can substitute Ubbelohde viscometer specified in the national standard GB/T1632.3 – 2010 to measure the molecular weight of UHMW-PE.

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