Toward anisotropic materials via forced assembly coextrusion

Tiffani M. Burt, Alex M. Jordan, Lashanda T.J. Korley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Multilayer coextrusion offers a diverse platform to examine layer dependent confinement effects on self-assembling nanomaterials via conventional extrusion technology. A triblock copolymer (BCP) with a cylindrical microstructure was processed via "forced assembly" to elucidate the effect of microdomain orientation on the mechanical behavior of multilayer films. The mechanical response was investigated in both the extrusion (ED) and transverse directions (TD) of the multilayer systems, revealing an influence of both cylinder-orientation and the interface on the mechanical response with decreasing layer thickness. The stress-strain curves for samples with the stress field along the cylinder axis revealed a sharp yielding phenomenon, while curves for specimens with the stress field applied perpendicular to the axis exhibited weak yielding behavior. The extensibility of the multilayer films stressed in the ED increases with decreasing layer thickness, but remains constant when deformed along the TD. Coextrusion technology allows for tunable mechanical toughness in industrial grade polymers via a continuous process. By altering the layer thickness of the two polymeric materials, we can tune the mechanics from strong, brittle behavior to a tough, ductile response by manipulation of the hierarchical structure. The enabling technology provides a unique platform to couple the inherent mechanical response of dissimilar polymers and allows for the design of composite materials with tailored mechanics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5155-5161
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 24 2012


  • mechanical anisotropy
  • microlayer coextrusion
  • nanoscale organization
  • oriented block copolymers


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