A) Carbon-dithio reversible bonding

A crosslinked network based on carbon-dithio (S-C-S) and disulfide (S-S) linkages, which are 40% weaker than C-C bonds, will be formed between PE macromolecular chains. Preliminary results obtained at the AUTH are encouraging. The S-C-S are expected to be stable up to 130 °C and cleavable at temperatures over 200 °C.

B) Diels-Alder chemistry

A reversible crosslinked polyethylene will be prepared by grafting Diels-Alder reactive partners on PE chains. The Diels-Alder has indeed proved to be a very efficient exchange reaction for covalent adaptable networks. Two synthetic approaches can be considered: (1) grafting either dienes or dienophiles on the PE linear chains through radical addition, with a subsequent crosslinking of functionalised PE chains; or (2) grafting only dienes on the PE chains, followed by a crosslinking using a bis-dienophile as the reticulating agent. The second approach might avoid undesirable side-reactions during PE functionalisation.


All obtained materials will be duly characterised regarding their molecular structure, molecular weight, physicochemical characteristics, mechanical performances, etc. combining the expertise and infrastructure of academic and industrial partners.