Radiational hardening of poly(vinylidene fluoride)–poly(methyl methacrylate)–polystyrene ternary blends



Specimens of poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF)–poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA)–polystyrene (PS) polyblends with different weight percentage ratios of the three polymers were prepared with the solution cast technique. The effect of γ irradiation on the Vicker's microhardness was studied. Among the three pure polymers, PVDF, PMMA, and PS, the γ irradiation imparted crosslinking in PVDF, thereby causing radiational hardening. In the cases of PMMA and PS, the effect of irradiation exhibited a predominance of both the scissioning and crosslinking processes in different ranges of doses. Moreover, at a dose of 5 Mrad, in both PMMA and PS, maximum radiational crosslinking was observed. The effect of γ irradiation seemed to stabilize beyond 15 Mrad in PVDF and beyond 20 Mrad in PMMA and PS. Microhardness measurements on ternary blends of PVDF, PMMA, and PS revealed that the blend with low contents of PMMA, that is, up to 5 wt %, yielded softening, whereas increasing the content of PMMA beyond 5 wt % produced a hardened material because of radiational crosslinking, and a higher content of PMMA in the blend facilitated this crosslinking. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 92: 3107–3111, 2004