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Microstructure Development and Its Influence on the Properties of Styrene-Ethylene-Butylene-Styrene/Polystyrene Blends

Microstructure Development and Its Influence on the Properties of Styrene-Ethylene-Butylene-Styrene/Polystyrene Blends

Polymers 10(4)

The present work is a novel attempt to understand the microstructure of styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene (SEBS)/polystyrene (PS) blends not only through morphological studies, but also thermal, mechanical and rheological characterizations. SEBS/PS blends containing 10, 30 and 50 wt % PS were processed in a micro-compounder and characterized. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies, with selective staining of the PS phase, revealed the presence of PS as nanometer-sized domains, as well as phase-separated micrometer-sized aggregates. Blends with 30 and 50 wt % PS exhibited a fibrillar microstructure, obeying Hirsch's model of short fiber composites. A remarkable increase in glass transition temperature indicated a strong interaction of the fibrils with SEBS. All blends showed two modes of relaxation corresponding to the two phases. A single mode of relaxation of the PS phase has been attributed to combined effects of the partial miscibility of the added PS, along with the interaction of the fibrils with SEBS. The long relaxation time of the elastomeric phase indicated the tendency of these materials to undergo time-dependent shrinkage in secondary processing operations. An increase in PS content resulted in the lowering of the shear viscosity and energy requirement for mixing, indicating the ease of processing.

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Accession: 066674567

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PMID: 30966435

DOI: 10.3390/polym10040400

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