Phthalic anhydride terminated polystyrene (PS-An) and styrene-maleic anhydride copolymer (SMA) were compared as a compatibilizer at low loadings (<10 wt%) in 70/30 polyamide 66 (PA66)/polystyrene (PS) blends. Compatibilization efficiency was judged by morphology of the blends and the extent of interfacial coupling to copolymer. Fluorescent labels of functional PS's (anthracene and pyrene for PS-An and SMA, respectively) allowed the detection of small amounts of reactively formed block (PA66-b-PS) or graft copolymer (SMA-g-PA66) in the blends via gel permeation chromatography with a fluorescence detector. Extremely fast reactions giving >60% conversion in 0. 5 min mixing were observed regardless of the molecular weight, the structure, and the amount of the functional PS's. Interfacial stability of the reactively formed copolymers was estimated by micelle formation in the bulk phases and the interfacial coverage, Σ PS-An with higher molecular weight (37 kg/mol) was most effective as a compatibilizer at the interface, showing less tendency to form microemulsions by suppressing interfacial roughening. However, a large portion of PA66-b-PS from low molecular weight PS-An (10 kg/mol) and SMA-g-PA66 from random functional SMA (16 kg/mol) migrated to the bulk phase to form micelles even at <2 wt% loadings. Blends of PA66 with syndiotactic PS compatibilized with PS-An gave very similar morphology to the PA66/PS blends indicating that these conclusions apply also to PA66/sPS blends.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The research was supported by grants from the Dow Chemical Co. and by the MRSEC Program of the National Science Foundation under Award Number DMR-0212302. The authors thank Thomas R. Hoye in Department of Chemistry for helpful discussions, Jianbing Zhang for providing PS-An-40, and the Dow Chemical Co. for permission to publish this work.
- Interfacial stability
- Molecular architecture
- Reactive compatibilization