Advances in the engineering of immiscible polymer blends

Giorgiana Giancola
Powder processing of thermoplastic polymer composites is an effective way to achieve a high level of component homogenization in raw blends prior to melt processing, thus reducing the thermal and shear stress on the components. Polymer blends can be prepared that would otherwise not be possible due to thermodynamic incompatibility. Evaluation of this concept was conducted by processing PMMA and HDPE micron sized powders which were characterized using DSC and rheology. Optical microscopy and
more » ... microscopy and SEM, showed that high-quality, fine domain sized blends can be made by the compression molding process. Silica marker spheres were used to qualitatively assess the level dispersive mixing. EDS chemical analysis was effective in providing image contrast between PMMA and HDPE based on the carbonyl and ester oxygen. EDS image maps, combined with secondary electron images show that compression molding of blended powder precursors produces composites of comparable homogeneity and domain size as extrusion processing. FTIR proved valuable when assessing the intimacy of the constituents at the interface of the immiscible domains. The formation of an in - situ, PMMA nano - network structure resulting from solvent extraction and redeposition using DMF was uniquely found on the surface of these immiscible polymer blends. This work has shown that powder processing of polymers is an effective means to melt processed fragile polymers to high quality blends. Recently, efforts towards the development of sustainable materials have evolved due in part to the increase in price and limited supply of crude oil. Immiscible polymer blending is a paradigm that enables synergistic material performance in certain instances where the composite properties are superior to the sum of the constituents. The addition of PA6,10 to PTT offers an opportunity to increase the bio-based content of PTT while simultaneously maintaining or improving mechanical properties. PA6,10 and PTT are immiscible polymers that can be blended into multi-phase blends [...]
doi:10.7282/t3ks6qbr fatcat:hr4s2pmprzha7iaupasnkuyizm