Silanes as Cross-linking Agents for Polyethylenes: Techno Brief

Crosslinking is a type of polymerization reaction that branches out from the main molecular chain to form a network of chemical links and cross-linking agents are added to resins to enable this process. This Cross-linking Agents guide is designed to help you understand more about the use of silanes as cross-linking agents in polyethylenes, focusing on the benefits and main applications.

Increased Chemical and Environmental Crack Resistance with Silane

PEX demonstrates better ESCR and better slow crack growth resistance

In general, as the molecular weight of polyethylene increases, the environmental stress cracking resistance (ESCR) is improved. In some extend, PEX can be considered as an infinite molecular weight PE.

PEX exhibits superior ESCR and better slow crack growth resistance than standard HDPE. This properties is particularly attractive in applications such as pipes under constant pressure.

Figure 1

It is also well recognized that chemical resistance of polymers increases with the degree of crosslinking.
Figure 1 below shows how the degree of crosslinking influences the swelling value of PEX in a solvent such as Xylene.

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