Micro- and Nanostructured Multiphase Polymer Blend Systems: Phase Morphology and Interfaces

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Because polycarbonate has a higher affinity for Ru04 than polypropylene, it appears darker in the micrographs. The same procedure was applied to nylon-surlyn blends. The nylon appears as the darker phase since it is more reac tive with Ru The specimen of Fig. It shows two distinct phases with poor adhesion at the interface. Small spherical particles or their cavities are visible in one of the phases. These particles can clearly be seen in the specimen of Fig.

The composite structure of one phase is evident. It can also be inferred from the two micrographs, Fig. It can be seen in Fig. Here a thin section of the sample was mounted on a copper grid and exposed to Ru04 vapors for about 30 minutes. Figure 2-a is a photograph of a 2 micron thick section observed with an optical microscope at a magnifi-cation of x. The remaining polypropylene was then added to the initial mixture to provoke phase inversion.

If the mixing is allowed 5 more minutes after the end of the melting peak of PP, the PP occlusions within the PC phase are almost non-existent as is illustrated in Figure 3-a. In both micro-graphs PC appears as the dispersed darker phase. Wikhin the composite droplet of the specimen obtained by khe first mixing process PP is seen as white small domains.

The dark lines crossing the PC droplet are marks left by the microtome knife. No such marks are observed on the whiter PP matrix because PP is a much softer material. Example 3 In this example, the role of the viscosity of the dispersed phase and the time of mixing was determined for an incompatible blend.

The rest of PP was then added and mixed for 1,3 and 6 minutes. Torque was measured duriny the experiments. A typical torque vs.

Book Micro And Nanostructured Multiphase Polymer Blend Systems Phase Morphology And Interfaces 2005

The first peak in Fig. The arrows indicate times of blending previously mentioned It should be noted that the steady state in torque is reached within one minute. TEM micrographs of these blends are shown in Figure 5. As mentioned before, the concentration of occlusions decreases with time. For two of the three blends studied low and medium viscosities PC-1 and PC-2 , there are no occlusions left after three or six minutes. The PC-3 high viscosity is the only one to show occlusions after 6 minutes, showing the increase in stability with viscosity.

The values in Table 2 are estimated using area ratios measured by image analysis from transmission electron micrographs. The area ratio corresponds direct-ly to a volume ratio. Occlusions retention below one percent was considered as zero retention. The volume fraction of nylon before inversion was 20 vol. More nylon was then added to induce phase inversion and blended 3 more minutes. The resulting morphology is shown in Fig. Electron micrograph in Fig. This concentration was roughly the same either at 3 or 20 minutes of blending after inversion second mix-ing.

The above results indicate that for incompatible blends, parameters such as time-controlled phase inver-sion and the viscosity of the ultimate dispersed phase are important in the generation of the composite multi phase morphology in polymer blends. Thus, the time of mixing after inversion is not as crucial a factor as in the case of incompatible blends where the time control is necessary.

Cristiano Farias

For a polymer selected as the ultimate dispersed phase "second polymer" , a relationship is determined between the viscosity of the polymer and the composite multiphase morphology which subsists in the post-inversion blend. As seen in Fig. Continuation of mixing up to and over ca. Based on similar graphs for any desired polymer combination, it is easy to select the appropriate temperature for which the corresponding viscosity of the polymer in question allows for a sufficiently long mixing time preferred to attain the blend uniformity.

The process is effective for a variety of incompatible and compatibilized polymer blends. Claims: A process for forming polymer blends with composite dispersed phase morphology, which comprises: i melt mixing a first thermoplastic polymer with a second thermoplastic polymer to form a dis-persion of the first polymer in the second polymer, ii adding to the dispersion of step i a suffi-cient quantity of a third polymer, different than the second polymer, to effect a phase in-version of the resulting blend, and iii melt mixing the blend of step ii while using an appropriate viscosity of the second polymer for a sufficient period of time to effect the phase inversion to a degree resulting in the formation of a composite multiphase structure in the blend of step ii.

The process of Claim 1 wherein the third polymer is the same as the first polymer. The process of Claim 1 wherein the first and the second polymer are incompatible under melt processing conditions. The process of Claim 1 wherein the second polymer is capable of forming compatibilized blends with at least one of the other said polymers. Claims Cont'd. The process of Claim 3 wherein the viscosity and the time of mixing in step iii are controlled so as to avoid a substantial loss of the composite multiphase structure after it is formed.

The process of Claim 1 wherein the composite multi-phase structure comprises a matrix of the third polymer, a dispersed phase of the second polymer within the said matrix and occlusions of the first polymer within said dispersed phase. The process of Claim 2 wherein the composite droplet structure comprises a matrix of the first polymer, a dispersed phase of the second polymer within said matrix and occlusions of the first polymer within said dispersed phase.

The process of Claim 5 wherein the viscosity and time of mixing are controlled according to the following steps: a establishing a relationship between the viscos-ity of the second polymer and the longest time of mixing at which the phase inversion occurs and the composite multiphase structure subsists in the blend of step iii to a substantial degree, b selecting the viscosity of the second polymer which corresponds to a sufficiently longtime of mixing to achieve substantially uniform phase inversion, and c maintaining the blend of step iii at a temper-ature corresponding to the selected or higher than selected viscosity of the second polymer while mixing the blend of step iii for the time determined in step b.

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Micro- and Nanostructured Multiphase Polymer Blend Systems: Phase Morphology and Interfaces

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