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Improving the Transparency of Ultra-Drawn Melt-Crystallized Polyethylenes: Toward High-Modulus/High-Strength Window Application

Shen, Lihua; Nickmans, Koen; Severn, John; Bastiaansen, Cees W. M.

By 12 March 2019No Comments

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2016, vol 8, 27, pp. 17549-17554



Highly transparent, ultradrawn high-density polyethylene (HDPE) films were successfully prepared using compression molding and solid-state drawing techniques. The low optical transmittance (<50%) of the pure drawn HDPE films can be drastically improved (>90%) by incorporating a small amount (>1 wt %/wt) of specific additives to HDPE materials prior to drawing. It is shown that additives with relatively high refractive index result in an increased optical transmittance in the visible light wavelength which illustrates that the improvement in optical characteristics probably originates from refractive index matching between the crystalline and noncrystalline regions in the drawn films. Moreover, the optically transparent drawn HDPE films containing additives maintain their physical and mechanical properties, especially their high modulus and high strength, which make these films potentially useful in a variety of applications, such as high-impact windows.

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