Preparation and characterization of heterophase blends of polycaprolactam and hydrogenated polydienes

Authors

  • David F. Lawson,

    Corresponding author
    1. Central Research Laboratories, The Firestone Tire and Rubber Co., Akron, Ohio 44317
    • Central Research Laboratories, The Firestone Tire and Rubber Co., Akron, Ohio 44317
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  • William L. Hergenrother,

    Corresponding author
    1. Central Research Laboratories, The Firestone Tire and Rubber Co., Akron, Ohio 44317
    • Central Research Laboratories, The Firestone Tire and Rubber Co., Akron, Ohio 44317
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  • Mark G. Matlock

    1. Central Research Laboratories, The Firestone Tire and Rubber Co., Akron, Ohio 44317
    Current affiliation:
    1. ADM Co., Lakeview Technical Center, Decatur, IL 62525
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  • Presented in part at National Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Los Angeles, September 1988 [Polym. Prepr., 29(2), 193 (1988)].

Abstract

The preparation, analysis, testing, and structure determination of ultrahigh impact rubber-toughened polycaprolactams (nylon 6) are described. Partially unsaturated hydrocarbon rubbers were used for this purpose. They were functionalized by reaction either in solution or in bulk with maleic anhydride to give rubbery “ene” adducts containing varying amounts of pendnet succinic anhydride. Tough, rigid, thermoplastic engineering resins with notched Izod impact strengths of 750–1000 J/m were prepared by briefly melt-blending these adducts with nylon 6. Properties of the blends could be affected by the type and amount of elastomer used, the anhydride content, the type of nylon, the mixing conditions and the test conditions. Fractionation by coacervation in m-cresol/cyclohexane of a typical resin containing 20% by weight of functionalized rubber showed approximately 35% of a rubber–nylon graft, along with a few percent of free rubber dispersed in the nylon 6 matrix. A comb-block copolymer structure for the graft and a model for its formation are proposed, consistent with analyses of the fractions. Some of the blends prepared with partially hydrogenated medium vinyl polybutadiene–maleic anhydride adducts displayed a retention of impact properties at low temperatures which was superior to that obtainable with a similarly prepared EPDM-modified nylon 6. Transmission electron microscopy of a blend containing an anhydride-modified hydrogenated medium vinyl polybutadiene showed a morphology consisting of a nylon matrix containing finely dispersed, irregularly shaped, 0.03–0.55 μm rubber domains in which were found even smaller domains of nylon.

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