Recycling of blends of acrylonitrile–butadiene–styrene (ABS) and polyamide

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Abstract

The aim of this work is to evaluate routes to upgrade recycled engineering plastics, especially mixed plastics with acrylonitrile–butadiene–styrene copolymers (ABS) as the major component. A core-shell impact modifier was successfully used to improve the impact strength of blends of ABS and ABS/polycarbonate (PC) blends recycled from the automotive industry. However, the presence of other immiscible components like polyamide (PA), even in small amounts, can lead to a deterioration in the overall properties of the blends. A styrene–maleic anhydride (SMA) copolymer and other commercial polymer blends were used to promote the compatibilization of ABS and PA. The core-shell impact modifier was again found to be an efficient additive with regard to the impact strength of the compatibilized ABS/PA blends. The results obtained with fresh material blends were quite promising. However, in blends of recycled ABS and glass-fiber-reinforced PA, the impact strength did not exhibit the desired behavior. The presence of poorly bonded glass fibers in the blend matrix was the probable reason for the poor impact strength compared with that of a blend of recycled ABS and mineral-filled PA. Although functionalized triblock rubbers (SEBS–MA) can substantially enhance the impact strength of PA, they did not improve the impact strength of ABS/PA blends because the miscibility with ABS is poor. The possibilities of using commercial polymer blends to compatibilize otherwise incompatible polymer mixtures were also explored giving promising results. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 86: 2535–2543, 2002

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