Determining Correlations in EPDM Rubber between Compositional Properties, Rheological Properties, and Detectable Trends via ACOMP
Michael F. Drenski, Dr. Matthew Crosley, Fluence Analytics
David G. Ward (Lion Elastomers), Josh Vaughn (formerly with Lion Elastomers)
Automatic Continuous Online Monitoring of Polymerization reactions (ACOMP) was successfully used to measure the low and high shear reduced viscosity (RV) of Lion Elastomers’ ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM rubber). The analyzed samples came from the production line and were quickly measured to simulate online measurement conditions as best as possible, i.e. hexane/cement elastomer mixture. ACOMP generated data that was used to build correlations between the RV and the compositional and physical properties of the EPDM rubber. The correlations showed a linear relationship between the RV measured by ACOMP and Mooney viscosity.
Furthermore, the correlations were unique by product grade. In addition, correlations between the RV and the EPDM’s percent composition of various monomers and other process chemicals were found. Because ACOMP can monitor RV and other values of an ongoing reaction in realtime, the potential for developing relevant correlations is an expected benefit of continuous data. Through realtime data on various polymer properties, combined with these correlations, a new powerful tool for optimized reaction control will result. Ultimately, ACOMP data can be used for both monitoring and enhancing the control of polymer manufacturing at the industrial scale, leading to improved production yields, efficiencies and minimum off-specification product. Additionally, Lab ACOMP can be used for the discovery and scale up of new products as they are developed.