Interfacial modification of high density polyethylene/glass fiber reinforced and non reinforced polyamide 66 blends



High density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyamide (PA66) are well known to be incompatible. An ionomer (Surlyn) was added as a compatibilizer to HDPE and glass fiber reinforced (HDPE/GFRPA66) and non-reinforced (HDPE/PA66) blends. Two compositions were considered: 25/75 wt % and 75/25 wt %, with an emphasis on the former formulation. The influence of the compatibilizer on the rheology, thermal properties, and the morphology, as well as mechanical properties of the blends, was investigated using melt flow index measurements, DSC, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and impact strength. The ionomer was found to be more effective as a compatibilizer with HDPE as a minor phase compared to the case when HDPE becomes the major phase. The results indicated that the interfacial properties of the blends were improved, with a maximum appearing at a critical concentration of the ionomer (7.5 vol %). At this level of compatibilization, SEM analysis revealed better interfacial adhesion and a finer dispersion. MFI results revealed a probable reaction between the amine groups of PA66 and the acid functions of the ionomer. The mechanical properties support the above results and showed that the addition of 25 wt % HDPE did not affect the properties of PA66 much and the presence of glass fiber did not hinder the effect of the compatibilizer. Only 20% decrease in notched Izod impact strength of the blends is observed at 7.5 vol % ionomer content, suggesting that the addition of 25 wt % of HDPE to PA66 is not detrimental at this level of compatibilization. The emulsification curve was established and revealed that, in terms of impact properties, the finer the particle size, the higher the impact strength corresponding to 7.5 vol % ionomer content. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 98: 1748–1760, 2005