Poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET)/linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) blends (75/25), with contents of poly(ethylene-co-methacrylic acid) partially neutralized with lithium (PEMA–Li) that were systematically changed from 0 to 45% relative to the LLDPE, were obtained by direct injection molding in an attempt to (1) ameliorate the performance of the binary blend and (2) find the best compatibilizer content. PEMA–Li did not modify the PET or LLDPE amorphous-phase compositions or the crystalline content of PET. However, PEMA–Li did lead to a nucleation effect and to the presence of a second smaller and less perfect crystalline structure. PET induced a fractional crystallization in LLDPE that remained in the presence of PEMA–Li and reduced the crystallinity of LLDPE. The ternary blends showed two similar dispersed LLDPE and PEMA–Li phases with small subparticles, probably PET, inside. The compatibilizing effect of PEMA–Li was clearly shown by the impressive increase in the break strain, along with only small decreases in the modulus of elasticity and in the tensile strength. With respect to the recycling possibilities of LLDPE, a ternary blend with the addition of 22.5% PEMA–Li, which led to very slight modulus and yield stress decreases with respect to the binary blend and a break strain increase of 480%, appeared to be the most attractive. However, the highest property improvement appeared with the addition of 37.5% PEMA–Li, which led to elasticity modulus and tensile strength decreases of only 9%, along with a very high break strain increase (760%). © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 87: 1322–1328, 2003
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