Since the publication of & quot; Metallocene-catalyzed Polymers & quot; in 1998, various aspects of related to introduction of this new group of materials were rapidly changing. This is reflected in the main emphasis of both books. In the previous edition the main focus was on the synthesis of polymers and catalysts and their characterization. Today this technology is becoming commonplace, many resins are commercially available and emphasis shifts to applications and process improvement.
In the polymer section, various groups of available materials are classified to assign materials to particular needs of different processing methods that this big variety of commercial raw materials can be utilized in the most efficient way. Functionalization of polymers is the other important subject of research. In both cases, the aim of research is to broaden the scope of applications and to find methods that allow to shorten production cycles.
In processing methods, these new materials require some changes in process parameters but they also open door to a large number of new possible products. This is apparent from following research on polymer blends, considering that most final products are not produced from a single polymer but from polymer blends. Various new blends can be formulated from these new polymers. In some cases, compatibility of polymers can be improved by the use of new catalysts-based materials. Frequently new compatibilization methods are required and different technological regimes of blend manufacture because properties of component polymers were changed.
All major processing methods such as extrusion, film manufacture, injection molding foam production, fiber spinning and composite manufacture already embraced these new brands of polymers and thus research is focused on fine tuning of processing parameters. At the same time, numerous new applications are becoming possible due to improved and balanced properties of new resins. These subjects are discussed in chapters devoted to the listed above technological processes of manufacture of final products.
Because of a new range of properties of these material, there is a need for different, usually more stringent and precise methods of testing and characterization of materials. On the other hand, technological improvement requires good understanding of polymer morphology and crystallization. Hence frequent studies are conducted in these fields. These subjects are the focus of one section of this book.
The market predictions for various resins and products are changing rapidly but gradually it becomes known which directions are most likely to be affected and why. Several chapters contribute to this understanding.