Structure and mechanical behavior of elastomeric multiblock terpolymers containing glassy, rubbery, and semicrystalline blocks

Feng Zuo, C. Guillermo Alfonzo, Frank S. Bates

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17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Multiblock copolymers containing glassy poly(cyclohexylethylene) (C), rubbery poly(ethylene-alt-propylene) (P), and semicrystalline poly(ethylene) (E) were synthesized by sequential anionic polymerization of styrene, isoprene, and butadiene followed by catalytic hydrogenation. The resulting CECPCEC (denoted XPX) and CECP (XP) multiblock copolymers each contain 50 vol % of P and equal amounts of C and E. These materials have been studied by dynamic mechanical spectroscopy (DMS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), small- and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS and WAXS), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and tensile deformation to characterize the morphology, phase behavior, and mechanical properties. Microphase separation in these compounds is induced by crystallization of E and/or chemical incompatibility between the three blocks, leading to a new type of morphology which contains continuous region of P and continuous region of microphase-separated X, resulting in mechanically resilient materials. High molecular weight block copolymers microphase separate with two different length scales associated with segregation between C and E and X and P. These structural features produce a nonclassical scaling relationship for the C-E domain spacing, d ∼ N0.31, where N is the degree of polymerization of CEC portion. The role of semicrystalline E domains during uniaxial deformation has been exposed with WAXS experiments, which support a two-step mechanism involving recoverable and nonrecoverable deformation to different extents. Strain hardening is observed in double-anchored XPX, but not in single-anchored XP, at large tensile strains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8143-8153
Number of pages11
JournalMacromolecules
Volume44
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 25 2011

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