Poly(methyl methacrylate)- block -polyethylene- block -poly(methyl methacrylate) triblock copolymers as compatibilizers for polyethylene/ poly(methyl methacrylate) blends

Yuewen Xu, Christopher M. Thurber, Christopher W. MacOsko, Timothy P. Lodge, Marc A. Hillmyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Poly(methyl methacrylate)-block-polyethylene-block-poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA-PE-PMMA) triblock copolymers were prepared by a combination of ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP), hydrogenation, and reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer (RAFT) polymerization. The number-average molar masses of the PMMA end blocks were varied (Mn = 1, 4, 12, and 31 kg mol-1), whereas that of the PE middle block was kept constant at Mn = 13 kg mol-1. The copolymers were evaluated as compatibilizers in PE/PMMA homopolymer blends containing PE in a 4:1 excess by weight. The compatibilized blends displayed significant improvements in elastic modulus, hardness, and scratch resistance as compared to uncompatibilized binary blends. The effects of the PMMA end-block molar mass and compatibilizer concentration on the blend morphology and mechanical properties were investigated. The triblock copolymer with the highest-molar-mass PMMA end blocks was most effective, presumably because of enhanced stress transfer between phases by virtue of a higher degree of entanglement of the end blocks with the PMMA dispersed phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4718-4725
Number of pages8
JournalIndustrial and Engineering Chemistry Research
Volume53
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 26 2014

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