Effects of supercritical carbon dioxide on phase homogeneity, morphology and mechanical properties of poly(styrene-blend-ethylene-stat-vinyl acetate)

Palermo, E., Si, M., Occhiogrosso, R., Berndt, C., Rudomen, Gregory, and Rafailovich, M. (2005) Effects of supercritical carbon dioxide on phase homogeneity, morphology and mechanical properties of poly(styrene-blend-ethylene-stat-vinyl acetate). Macromolecules, 38 (22). pp. 9180-9186.

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Abstract

Significant enhancement of the mechanical properties in PS/EVA blends is achieved via sc CO2 exposure in the pressure/temperature domain where the amplitude of the density fluctuations is maximal. Before exposure, bulk samples of the blends elongate an average of 134% under uniaxial tension, whereas the average elongation is 682% after exposure. SEM micrographs of the exposed blends indicate that foams with pores roughly 5−15 μm in diameter, separated by splines 1−2 μm wide, are formed at all pressures higher than 800 psi. We attribute the enhancement of the mechanical properties in PS/EVA to an increased degree of miscibilization of the immiscible polymers along the spline surfaces. When foaming occurs, the surface-to-volume ratio is increased, thereby increasing the regions where surface miscibilization can occur. Since tensile stresses in the material are sustained by the splines, reinforcement of the mechanical properties in this specific area results in an overall enhancement of the tensile properties of the material. The increased miscibility was further confirmed by contact angle and DSC measurements of the blends before and after exposure. The results showed a decrease in the contact angle from 18° to 3° and the appearance of a second glass transition, which was intermediate between the Tg values of the PS and EVA homopolymers.

Item ID: 14054
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1520-5835
Keywords: mechanical properties; microstructure; nanotechnology; phase formation; plastics; polymers
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2010 00:40
FoR Codes: 09 ENGINEERING > 0903 Biomedical Engineering > 090301 Biomaterials @ 60%
09 ENGINEERING > 0912 Materials Engineering > 091201 Ceramics @ 30%
10 TECHNOLOGY > 1007 Nanotechnology > 100799 Nanotechnology not elsewhere classified @ 10%
SEO Codes: 86 MANUFACTURING > 8610 Ceramics, Glass and Industrial Mineral Products > 861002 Ceramics @ 100%
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