Polymer and Materials Science
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
Blends of three polyethylene (PE) samples (two HDPE grades and LLDPE) with an experimental sample of a semiflexible liquid crystalline polymer (SBH 1:1:2 by Eniricerche) have been prepared in a Brabender compounder. The processing-aid effect of the LCP has been demonstrated by the decreased energy required for extruding the blends, as compared to that needed for neat PE. The thermal properties, as studied by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), have shown that the two components of the blends are immiscible. However, the dispersed SBH phase has been found to act as a nucleating agent for the crystallization of LLDPE, whereas no such effect was observed for HDPE. This has been taken as an indication that the phase interactions of SBH with LLDPE are more pronounced than with HDPE. The morphological study of the blends, done by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), has confirmed this conclusion. In fact, the SBH particles show a much better dispersion and a narrower size distribution in the LLDPE/SBH blends. The mechanical properties of the blends have been studied on compression-molded specimens. The results indicate that the reinforcing effect of SBH is practically none for both HDPE grades. In fact, the elongation at break decreases to very low values, and the tensile strength is also reduced, when the LCP concentration increases beyond 5-10%, whereas the tensile modulus does not vary appreciably, over the whole (0-20%) LCP range investigated. On the contrary, the tensile modulus of the LLDPE/SBH blends increases up to ca. 50%, and the elongation at break decreases more smoothly, on increasing the SBH content up to 20%. © 1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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