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Патент USA US3088858

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May 7, 1963
Filed March 24, 1961
Unite States Patent 0 "ice
Patented May 7, 1963
tendency to split in the direction parallel to the direction
of molecular orientation (machine direction). In addi
Ludwig Tritsch, Wilmette, IlL, assignor to The Kendall
Company, Boston, Mme, a corporation of Massachu
tion, ?lms of molecularly oriented high density poly
ethylene have relatively undesirable conformability char
acteristics for tape purposes, as re?ected by their elon
gation properties in both the machine and transverse di
In accordance with the invention it is possible to ob
tain a unique combination of properties in polyethylene
Filed Mar. 24, 1961, Ser. No. 99,662
4 Claims. (Cl. 117-122)
10 tapes by the proper blending of certain amounts of the
high density polyethylene with the low density polyethyl
This invention relates to pressure-sensitive adhesive
ene. Moreover, the method of fabricating ?lms from
tapes. In particular, this invention relates to pressure
blends of high and low density polyethylene have a dis
sensitive adhesive tapes having polymeric ?lm backings
tinct in?uence upon the physical properties of the ?lms.
comprising molecularly oriented blends of low density
It is known that extruded blends of high density and low
polyethylene and high density polyethylene.
density polyethylenes exhibit tensile strengths below the
It is generally known that ethylene can be polymerized
tensile strength of low density polyethylene when such
to produce two types of solid ethylene polymers, depend
blends contain relatively minor amounts of high density
ing upon the conditions of temperature and pressure, and . polyethylene. In contrast, differential roll speed calen
the nature of the catalyst utilized in the polymerization 20 dered ?lms in accordance with this invention exhibit im
reaction. The two types of polymers, which have recog
proved tensile strength, even in the case of blends con
nizable and considerably different characteristics, are gen
taining minor amounts of high density polyethylene.
erally referred to as low density polyethylene and high
It is possible with certain blends of the polymers to ob
density polyethylene Since the advent of the high density
tain improved properties in moisture vapor transmission,
polyethylene, the low density polyethylene is oftentimes 25 gas permeability, abrasion resistance, and resistance to
referred to as conventional polyethylene. The low den
high temperatures. Only certain proportions of the high
sity of the conventional polyethylene is usually attributed
density polyethylene will give a desired balance of prop
to the considerable amount of side chain branching exist
erties without a substantial, deleterious sacri?ce of other
ing in the polymer molecules, which also accounts for
properties of the tape. In general, the addition of rela
the non-linearity of the material. On the other hand, the 30 tively small amounts of high density polyethylene to the
high density polyethylene is characterized by very little
low density polyethylene will substantially reduce both
side chain branching and exhibits a high degree of linear
moisture vapor transmission and gas permeability. Films
ity. In comparison with the low density polyethylene,
made of blends of the high and low density polyethylene
the high density polyethylene is harder, stiffer, exhibits
exhibit a substantial improvement in abrasion resistance.
higher tensile strength, is less permeable to gas and vapors, 35 For example, a calendered ?lm of a molecularly oriented
is more chemically resistant, and exhibits greater stability
blend of 33 percent high density polyethylene and 67
at elevated temperatures. Films can be fabricated from
percent low density polyethylene will have an abrasion re
both types of polyethylenes. The polymers can be mo
sistance of almost twice that of a ?lm composed solely
lecularly oriented which, in the case of low density poly
of low density polyethylene.
ethylene ?lms results in desirable properties for many pres 40
The tear strength and the elongation properties of the
sure-sensitive tape purposes.
?lm for pressure-sensitive adhesive tape purposes are
Low density polyethylene generally exhibits a melting
important. In many instances a high degree of con
point in the range of about 212° to 240° F., has an average
formability of the tape is a prime requisite. This property
density of about 0.92 and side chain branching occurring
of the tape is re?ected by the elongation properties of the
in the proportion of about 1 side chain per 20 carbon 4.5 ?lm. Preferably the ?lm backing should be capable of
atoms in the main carbon chain. The melting point of
elongation in both the machine and transverse directions.
high density polyethylene is higher, usually in the range of
Where the degree of conformabil-ity required is that suit
about 260° to 270° F. It has an average density greater
able for corrosion protective pipe wrap tape purposes, a
than 0.92, the density ordinarily ranging from about 0.95
blend in which the amount of high density polyethylene is
to about 0.98 in an annealed state.
The occurrence of 50 less than about 40 percent and normally not more than
side chain branching in high density polyethylene is about
one-tenth, and less, the side chain branching ‘occurring in
low density polyethylene.
about 30 percent is preferred. For electrical tape purposes,
blends containing about 5 percent to 10 percent high
density polyethylene are suitable, particularly when cal
Although the excellent combination of over-all prop
endered by -a differential roll speed calender process to
erties of tapes made with the conventional or low density 55 impart substantially monoaxial molecular orientation
polyethylene has resulted in large scale commercial ac
thereto. Such calendered blends do not suffer from the
ceptance for numerous uses, these tapes fall short of
reduction in tensile strength due to the presence of such
small amount of high density polyethylene that has been
other desirable requirements. Even though tapes made
observed in extruded ?lms, for example. Because of the
from the high density or linear polyethylene offer a de
sirable combination of properties, for example, moisture 60 improved tensile strength of such di?erential roll speed
calendered ?lms it is possible to employ thinner ?lms for
vapor transmission, low gas permeability and high abra_
greater conformability in electrical tapes. In general, a
sion resistance, such tapes are de?cient in other tape re
satisfactory combination of tear strength and elongation
quirements. Thus, the high density molecularly oriented
properties is obtained with blends containing up to about
polyethylene ?lms are characterized by a pronounced
50 percent of the high density polyethylene. In the ex
amples ‘described below, a“ drastic reduction in the per
a three roll'cale'nder may be us'edfwhich would permit
higher temperatures to be used in the top and center rolls,
the ?lm transferring from the center roll to the bottom
roll and strippable therefrom. It should be understood
that the values for the tear strength and percent of elonga
cent of elongation is noted as the amount of the high
density polyethylene exceeds about 50 percent. At about
50 percent and less of high density polyethylene, the ?lms
exhibit suitable tear strength in both directions without
splitting of the ?lm. This is illustrated in Table I.
tion can be considerably upgraded by other calendering
conditions and techniques, but that in general the same
Table I
relative relationship will exist.
Tear Strength
6. 8
6. 7
6. 5
6. 3
6. 5
5. 8
6. 4
6. 4
6. 7
6. 8
6. 6
6. 4
5. 8
6. 3
6. O
6. 0
6. 4
6. 4
6. 4
5. 7
6. 3
5. 7
8. 5
8. 3
5. 3
2. 5
4. 3
The drawing is a cross-sectional View of an adhesive
tape of this invention wherein the tape backing is a ?lm
comprising a blend of high density and low density poly
ethylenes molecularly orient-ed principally in one direc
tion, that is, substantially monoaxially oriented.
calendering operation may be employed. For example,
The tear strength values were obtained for the ?lms
by ‘following the standaradized method for testing paper,
as described in ASTM designation: D689-44. This test
determines the average force in grams required to tear
a single sheet after the tear ‘has been initiated at one
20 edge thereof. More properly the values obtained from
this test are a measure of the internal tearing resistance
of the ?hn. In general, the procedure followed was to
insert the ?lm into a pair of clamps of the well known
ti (5;) Thickness of the ?lm measured for elongation in the traverse direc
Elmendorf tearing tester, one of the clamps being free to
25 move independent ofithe other. The clamps are held in
The data tabulated in Table I are the relative tear
exact parallel alignment. With the ?lm held in the
strengths and elongation for various blends of low density
clamps, the ?lm is cut at the bottom edge of the ?hn in
and high density calendered ?lms. The ?rst column at
the space between the two clamps. The one clamp is then
the left in Table I, speci?es the percentage, on a weight
permitted to swing free in a pendulum action to tear
basis, of the high density polyethylene in they blend.v As
the ?lm along the line initiated by the cut. -As indicated
shown in the table, the tear strength in the machine dil
in ‘Table I, ?lms containing 50 percent and more of the
rection of the calendered ?lm remains relatively constant
high density polyethylene split. The split occurs in a di-'
with blends containing up to about 50 percent high den;
rection parallel .to the direction of molecular orientation
(a) Thickness of ?lm measured for elongation in the machine direction.
sity polyethylene. As the amount of the high density
(machine direction), even though the tearing force is ap
polyethylene exceeds about 50 percent, the ?lm will split 35 plied in a transverse direction. Splitting action of this
along the machine direction when an attempt is made to
type should be avoided for pressure-sensitive tape pur
tear the ?lm in a direction transverse to the direction of
As a general measure of conformability, the elonga
tion data for these ?lms show that the ?lms containing
about 40-50 percent of the high density polyethylene have
' The elongation values of Table I are a measure of
the degree to which the ?lm will elongate up to the
point at which rupture of the ?lm occurs. The ?lms
were tested for degree of elongation on an Instron tensile
substantially better elongation in the machine direction
tester. One inch wide samples of the ?lms were clamped
than do ?lms containing larger amounts'of the high den?
in flat faced jaws. The length of the strip of ?lm in
sity material. The elongation data also show that ?lms
each case between .the jaws was 6 inches. The crosshead
containing less than 40 percent high density polyethylene, 45 speed was 12 inches per minute. The amount of the elon-y.
andnorrnally about 30 percent, are to be preferred in
gation of each ?lm at the point of rupture was measured.
corrosion protective pipe wrap pressure-sensitive tapes.
‘In each instance, a correction was made for the amount
Blends containing less than 10 percent and preferably
of ‘slippage of the ?lm in the jaws. The amount of elon
about 5 percent high density polyethylene offer a higher
gation, as corrected, is divided ‘by the initial length of the
degree of conformability.v Tapes having ?lms of these 50 sample to obtain the percent‘ of elongation. On the
blends of lower amounts of high density polyethylene
basis of the results obtained, the preferred ?lms. for pres
affordv better conformability because of the combination
sure-sensitive adhesive tapes purposes are those having up
of suitable elongation in both the machine and transverse
to about 30 percent high density polyethylene, in order to,
The ?lms speci?ed in Table I were made in the follow
ing manner. The solid polyethylene polymers were com
bined in the speci?ed proportions and milled on a two
obtain the bene?t of the combination of conformability in
55 both a transverse and machine direction of the‘ ?lm.
The presence of relatively small amounts of the high
density polyethylene when homogeneously blended with
roll mill. The temperature of‘ the rolls was maintained
the low density polyethylene results in a substantial im
provement in the resistance to penetration of the mo
Milling was continued for a sufficient length of time to 60 lecularly oriented ?lms at elevated temperatures. Con
obtain a thorough and homogenous blend of the high and
ventional, low density polyethylene will have an elevated
low density polyethylenes. Other methods of compound
temperature penetration value as low as about 60° C.
ing the polymers suitable for forming a homogenous blend
This will vary somewhat, of course, depending upon the
of the polymers may be used. Each blend of the poly
conditions under which the low density polyethylene was
ethylenes was then calendered into ?lms on a two roll 65 ‘fabricated. Films calendered under similar conditions ex
calender, the blend, in bulk form, being deposited at the
hibit a substantial increase in the elevated temperature
nip of the calender ‘rolls adjusted to provide a nip spacing
penetration, even with a relatively small proportion of
conforming to the particular ?lm thickness desired. The
high density polyethylene. The degree to which the re
temperature of the top roll was maintained at about 350°
sistance to penetration increases with relatively low
at above 275 ° F. with a maximum of about 350° F.
F. and the temperature of the bottom roll was maintained 70 amounts of high density polyethylene‘ is considerably
at about 210-230° F. A differential speed was main
greater than the degree of‘ improvement obtained with
tained between the top and bottom roll to yield a molec
higher proportions of the high density polyethylene. Ac
ularly oriented ?lm in each instance. The data set forth
cordingly, it is possible to take advantage of the best
in Table I are representative‘for ?lms made under the
combination of tear and elongation properties along with
conditions described. Of course, many variations in the
substantial improvement in penetration without resorting
roll to produce ?lms approximately 10 mils thick. The
extruder temperature ranged from 175° to 420° F. The
to ?lms containing amounts of the high density polymer
considerably in excess of 50 percent of the blend. The
die temperature was about 435° F. The temperature of
effect of the concentration of the high density polymer
the stock was about 435° F. The stretch span was about
on the penetration at elevated temperatures is illustrated
by the data in Table II.
Table II
3 inches. The 100 percent low density polyethylene ex
truded ?lm exhibited a tensile strength of about 1067
p.s.i. in the machine direction. The extruded ?lm con
taining 10 percent of the high density polyethylene had
Percent High Density Poly
ethylene __________________ __ 10
a tensile strength of about 858 p.s.i. in the machine direc
10 tion. The tensile strength of the extruded ?lms containing
20 percent high density polyethylene exceeded the tensile
strength of the extruded 100 percent low density poly
ethylene ?lm.
Thus, differential r-oll speed calendering improves the
The elevated temperature penetration test is designed
tensile strength of blends containing less than 20 percent
to determine the resistance .of the ?lm to penetration at 15
high density polyethylene. Such calendered ?lm-s are
elevated temperatures. The temperatures reported in
particularly useful in electrical grade pressure-sensitive
Table ‘II for the ?lms of the various blends are the tem
adhesive tapes where [thin conformable, but strong ?lm
peratures at which the ?lm were penetrated under the
backings are required. Relatively high tensile strengths
test conditions. In general these values were obtained
Temperature of Penetration,
Degree Centigrade ________ __ 77
in the following manner. The ?lm of the speci?ed
blends were prepared in a manner similar to that previ
ously described; blending was accomplished on a two
can be ‘obtained with calendered, molecularly oriented
?lms, as compared to ?lms made by ‘other fabrication
The calendered, molecularly oriented ?lms
made with the blends in accordance with this invention
roll mill and calendered on a two roll calender. Film
are considerably more resistant to permanent deformation
specimen-s, each about 5 mils thick, were placed between
a steel ball and a steel sheet. The specimen was then 25 in the machine direction than are other ?lms. This char
acteristic of high tensile strength is particularly desirable
accurately heated under a compression load of 1000
for pressure-sensitive tape applications. The ?lms can
grams placed upon the ball. The temperature of the
be used with various pressure-sensitive adhesive formula
specimen was raised at a uniform rate of 1° C. per 2
minutes until the ball penetrated through the specimen
and came into contact with the steel sheet. The tem
perature at which the contact occurs is the temperature
tions, including formulations based on both synthetic
30 and natural rubber.
The adhesive can be applied in the
same manner in which they are applied to conventional
of penetration. This temperature is reported in degrees
polyethylene. Conveniently, pressure-sensitive adhesive
centigrade. This test procedure is described in detail in
Mil-l-7798A, February 24, 1954. As shown in Table
of this invention can be produced in a single-pass cal
tapes employing differentially roll speed calendered blends
II, the elevated temperature penetration value for ?lms 35 endering operation in the manner shown in US. Patent
2,879,547 when the calender rolls at the polyethylene
containing only 10 percent of the high density polyethyl
are maintained at diiferent speeds.
ene is about 80° C. In comparison, a similarly calendered
In general a pressure-sensitive adhesive tape made with
low density polyethylene ?lm will have an elevated tem
perature penetration value of about 60° C. and a high 40 ?lms of blends of the high and low density polyethylene
containing up to about 50 percent high density polyeth
density polyethylene ?lm will have an elevated tempera
ylene will have a desirable combination of properties
ture penetration value of about 108° C. These values,
improved over either tapes having 100 percent low den
of course, can be upgraded to ‘some extent with differ
sity polyethylene ?lm backings or 100 percent high
ent calendering techniques and conditions, but in gen-,
polyethylene ?lm backings. For the reasons pre
eral the same relative di?erence will exist.
Differential roll speed calendered ?lms comprising 45 viously stated, the ?lms containing up to about 30 percent
to 40 percent of a high density polyethylene are preferred
blends of high density polyethylene in relatively minor
amounts exhibit tensile strength greater than differential
roll speed calendered ?lms of the low density polyethylene
itself. This is illustrated in the tensile strength data of
a series of blends set forth in Table III below.
Table III
Percent high density:
Tensile strength, p.s.i.
for pressure-sensitive adhesive purposes.
It is to be understood that various embodiments can
be made in the invention described herein. Thus, ma
50 terials normally added to conventional polyethylene, as
known in the art, can be compounded with the blends of
high and low density polyethylenes to obtain desired mod
i?cation attributable to these materials. If desired, ?ller
materials and dyes or pigments may be incorporated as
Many different changes can be made in the
55 desired.
embodiments speci?cally described in the foregoing dis
Such modi?cations or variations as do not ma
terially affect the essential features of this invention are
included in the scope of the following claims.
Table III sets forth the tensile strength of differentially
This application is a continuation-in-part of copending
roll speed calendered ?lms in the machine direction. The
application Serial No. 724,526, ?led March 28, 1958,
low density non-linear polyethylene had a density of
now abandoned.
about 0.92. The density of the high density linear poly
What is claimed is:
ethylene was about ‘0.96. The blends were milled in the
1. A pressure-sensitive adhesive tape comprising a dif
manner heretofore described and then calendered to ?lms
65 ferential roll speed calendered molecularly oriented poly
approximately 9 to 10 mils thick on a 2 roll calender.
ethylene ?lm backing and a pressure-sensitive adhesive
The top roll of the calender was heated to a temperature
mass on at least one side ‘thereof, said backing compris
of 340° F. The temperature of the center roll was main
ing a blend of high density polyethylene having a density
tained at a temperature between about 2l0—260° F. The
of from about 0.95 to about 0.98 and low density poly
top roll was stationary and the center roll rotated at a
ethylene having a density of about 0.92 wherein said high
speed to produce the tape at a. rate approximately 5 yards
density polyethylene is present in an amount from about
per minute. As shown, each of the blends exhibited a
5% to less than about 20 percent of the blend.
tensile strength ‘greater than the tensile strength of the
2. A pressure-sensitive adhesive tape having a diiferen
low density polyethylene ?lm (0 percent high density).
Blends of the same high and low density polyethylenes
tial roll speed calendered molecularly oriented ?lm back
ing and a pressure-sensitive adhesive mass on at least one
were extruded through a 20 mil ori?ce onto a ?at chilled 75
3 $788,848
‘side thereef, said backing cornp'rising' a blend of about 10
‘percent high density polyethylene having'a-‘i density ‘of
from about 0.95 to about 0.98 and 90 percent lowrde'n
sity polyethylene having a density of aboutv 0.92.
3. A pressure-sensitive adhesive tape'having a'?lm E‘
backing and -a pressurefsensitive adhesive ‘mass on at least
‘one side thereof, said backing comprising‘ a differential
rol-l speed calendered molecularly oriented blend of about
‘5 percent ‘high ‘density polyethylene havingra density of
from about 0.95 ‘to about 0.98 and about 95 percent low 10
density polyethylene’ having a density ‘of about 0.92.
'4. A pressure-sensitive adhesive tape having a dif
ferential roll speed calendered molecularly oriented poly
'tibn, of a ‘high den-sitypolyethylene having density ,of
from about 0:95 ?to‘0;9‘8, the;-p'roportion o'fehigh density
v‘polyethylene being ‘at least‘about 5% but less than that
amount which effect is additive :to the tensile strength of
low density polyethylene in an extruded form of a blend
‘References Cited in the ?le of this patent
‘Bright ______________ __ Mar. 17, 1953
Hogan et a1. _________ .__ Mar. 4, 1958
Conwell et al. ________ __ Oct. 18, 1960
'Great Britain ________ __ Nov. 21, 1956
Great Britain _________ _.. Feb‘. 5, 1958
ethylene v?lm backing and a pressure-sensitive adhesive
on at least‘ one side thereof, said ?ilm backing comprising ' 15
a, blend of a major’ proportion of a’ low density polyeth
ylene havinga density of- about 0.92 and‘ a minor propor
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