Polymer Alloys

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A polymer with novel properties for new technological applications is obtained by combining existing polymers. Polymer alloys are produced by their chemical composition, the conformation of chain molecules, and morphology.  Production can be controlled to a limited extent through the chemical composition of components when homopolymers are mixed in the melt or as dispersions. By varying the processing conditions, different structures can be obtained in polymer alloys. Because of the heterogeneous nature of most polymeric alloys, their physical properties can sometimes be considered as those of micro composites.

Polymer Blend and alloy:

It is necessary to define the difference between these two term. A polymer blend is a mixture of at least two polymers or copolymers. A polymer alloy is an immiscible polymer blend having an interface modified through the use of a compatibilizing agent.

Polymer alloys often exhibit microphase separation. The heterogeneous morphologies are determined not only by the composition of the system but by the processing conditions as well. The microstructure influences the properties of polymeric alloys [40]. For example, the addition of a second phase of dispersed rubbery particles into the polymer matrix results in a great enhancement of toughness.

All polymers and additives (less than 5% additives such as pigments and stabilizers) are added through the first hopper; fillers such as talc, chalk, clay, flame retardants, and so on are added downstream through a second hopper. Glass fibre is introduced into the barrel which can also be used to feed shear or temperature sensitive additives e.g., flame retardants.

Typical of alloy Polymer

There are two widely useful types of polymer blends: miscible and immiscible [3, 5,10-12]. Miscible blends involve thermodynamic solubility and are characterized by the presence of one phase and a single glass transition temperature. Their properties can often be predicted from the composition weighted average of the properties of the individual components. Immiscible blends are phase separated, exhibiting the glass transition temperatures and/or melting temperatures of each blend component. Their overall performance depends on the properties of the individual components, but also depends significantly on the morphology of the blends and the interfacial properties between the blend phases. Performance is not easily predictable. In order to achieve miscibility in polymer blends, a negative free energy of mixing must exist which, in turn, requires an exothermic heat of mixing, because entropic contributions are negligible. An exothermic heat of mixing may be achieved by the introduction of specific interactions between blend components. The potentially useful specific interactions range from strong covalent and ionic bonding to nonbonding weak interactions such as hydrogen bonding, ion-dipole, dipole-dipole, and donor-acceptor interactions, etc.

Polymer alloy properties

Polymer alloy properties are determined by their final morphology. Consequently, compatibilizers are needed to improve the properties of immiscible polymer alloys. When the surface tension decreases and closes to zero at the common boundary or interface between polymer phases in an alloy, mixing moves toward miscibility. A high surface tension causes phase separation between two phases, resulting in an increase in particle size and a decrease in mechanical properties. By adding compatibilizers, surface tension can be reduced. Phase compatibility can reduce the size and increase the mechanical properties of dispersed particles, phase stability, and phase stability.

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