A semiempirical derivation of phase domain size in interpenetrating polymer networks



In previous papers, interpenetrating polymer networks were shown to display a cellular structure. The phase domain size of polymer II was shown to depend inversely on the crosslink density of polymer I. The present paper presents a semiempirical derivation of equations which show quantitatively the dependence of the phase domain size of polymer II on the crosslinking density of polymer I, and also on the interfacial energy and the overall composition. If polymer II is linear, the dependence on the molecular weight of polymer II is also included. The values of the phase domain sizes so estimated are compared with experimental results. While theory and experiment yield good agreement, the semiempirical nature of the equations must be borne in mind.