Rheological studies of disulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) plasticized with poly(ethylene glycol) for membrane formation

Hee Jeung Oh, Benny D. Freeman, James E. McGrath, Christopher J. Ellison, Sue Mecham, Kwan Soo Lee, Donald R. Paul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Disulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone) (BPS) random copolymers, prepared from a sulfonated monomer, have been considered for use as membrane materials for various applications in water purification and power generation. These membranes can be melt-processed to avoid the use of hazardous solvent-based processes with the aid of a plasticizer, a low molecular weight poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). PEG was used to modify the glass transition temperature and melt rheology of BPS to enable coextrusion with polypropylene (PP). Our previous paper discussed the miscibility of BPS with PEG and the influence of PEG on the glass transition of BPS. In this study, the rheological properties of disulfonated poly(arylene ether sulfone)s plasticized with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) are investigated to identify coextrusion processing conditions with candidate PPs. The effects of various factors including PEG molecular weight, PEG concentration, temperature and BPS molecular weight on blend viscosity were studied. The rheological data effectively lie on the same master curve developed by Bueche and Harding for non-associating polymers such as poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and polystyrene (PS). Although sulfonated polysulfone contains ionic groups, the form of its viscosity versus shear rate (or frequency) behavior appears to be dominated by the relaxation of polymer entanglements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1574-1582
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 24 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by NSF Science and Technology Center for Layered Polymeric Systems (Grant 0423914 ). NSF-MRI (grant 1126534 ) at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University provided equipment for SEC analysis. We also appreciate help from the facilities in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Ben Shoulders provided valuable advice to analyze 1 H NMR data. Ms. Angela Spangenberg and Mr. Steve Sorey helped to perform the 1 H NMR measurements.


  • Bueche-Harding master curve
  • Poly(ethylene glycol)
  • Sulfonated polysulfone


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