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Title: The chemical modification of polymer blends by reactive processing
Author: Artus, Kevin J.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3429 9918
Awarding Body: University of Aston in Birmingham
Current Institution: Aston University
Date of Award: 1994
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The primary objective of this research was to examine the concepts of the chemical modification of polymer blends by reactive processing using interlinking agents (multi-functional, activated vinyl compounds ; trimethylolpropane triacrylates {TRIS} and divinylbenzene {DVD}) to target in-situ interpolymer formation between immiscible polymers in PS/EPDM blends via peroxide-initiated free radical reactions during melt mixing. From a comprehensive survey of previous studies of compatibility enhancement in polystyrene blends, it was recognised that reactive processing offers opportunities for technological success that have not yet been fully realised ; learning from this study is expected to assist in the development and application of this potential. In an experimental-scale operation for the simultaneous melt blending and reactive processing of both polymers, involving manual injection of precise reactive agent/free radical initiator mixtures directly into molten polymer within an internal mixer, torque changes were distinct, quantifiable and rationalised by ongoing physical and chemical effects. EPDM content of PS/EPDM blends was the prime determinant of torque increases on addition of TRIS, itself liable to self-polymerisation at high additions, with little indication of PS reaction in initial reactively processed blends with TRIS, though blend compatibility, from visual assessment of morphology by SEM, was nevertheless improved. Suitable operating windows were defined for the optimisation of reactive blending, for use once routes to encourage PS reaction could be identified. The effectiveness of PS modification by reactive processing with interlinking agents was increased by the selection of process conditions to target specific reaction routes, assessed by spectroscopy (FT-IR and NMR) and thermal analysis (DSC) coupled dichloromethane extraction and fractionation of PS. Initiator concentration was crucial in balancing desired PS modification and interlinking agent self-polymerisation, most particularly with TRIS.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Chemical Engineering ; Applied Chemistry ; Chemical Engineering