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Current Project

Polymer Division (IV)


Number: 2005-023-2-400

Title: Micro-structural, melt processing and mechani-cal properties of compatibilised PA 6/ABS -blends

Task Group
Helmut Steininger

Members: Volker Altstädt, Rob Bailey, Dick Dijkstra, Andrzej Galeski, Ulrich Handge, Sung Chul Kim, Martin Laun, and Goerg H. Michler

Investigation of the influence of compatibilisation of PA6/ABS blends on melt processing, micro-structure and mechanical properties and their mutual interactions.

Blending of polymers is a technologically important procedure in polymer processing and a powerful tool in order to improve the end use properties of polymeric materials. The understanding of relevant micro-structural mechanisms during melt processing and of deformation on morphology in the solid state is essential in order to optimise the blending of polymers with respect to processability and performance. For example, it is often necessary to prepare a two phase polymer blend with a co-continuous morphology during extrusion. Therefore it is crucial to understand quantitatively the deformation of the phases and the processes leading to the break-up or the coalescence of micro-structures during mixing. Compatibilisation of the constituents generally improves the mechanical properties of the blend. In this context, the degree of compatibilisation, the mobility of the compatibiliser at the interface and in the bulk and its influence on interfacial tension and coalescence of droplets are important properties, which determine the final blend morphology and the mechanical performance. In the past, the relevant physical phenomena in complex multiphase blends (e.g., the industrially important PA 6/ABS blends) have only been partially explored. Especially, melt elongational properties, their influence on morphology and melt stability during processing were not the focus of previous studies.

This project aims to clear up those physical mechanisms in compatibilised PA 6/ABS blends, which are relevant to melt processing and to mechanical performance. The degree and the effect of compatibilisation as well as the formation of the morphology as a function of the overall composition of the blend will be investigated and their influences on the flow and the mechanical properties will be elucidated. Particularly, the deformation of the morphology during elongation in the solid and in the molten state will be investigated. The materials will be supplied by BASF AG (Ludwigshafen, Germany). The preparation of blends of selected composition ratios, including reactive compatibilisation, will be done by melt mixing in a twin-screw extruder. The melt processing properties will be investigated by performing elongational and shear rheometry. The mechanical properties of compatibilised PA 6/ABS blends will be evaluated by determining fracture mechanical quantities like the critical value of the stress field and the critical value of the energy release rate (fracture toughness). In addition, dynamic-mechanical analysis, fatigue crack growth tests, impact tests and micromechanical tests will be performed. The morphology of the blends will be investigated by microscopic (e.g. AFM and TEM) and scattering methods (SAXS / WAXS).



Last update: 16 January 2006

<project announcement to be published in Chem. Int. >

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