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Effect of LCP and rPET as reinforcing materials on rheology, morphology, and thermal properties of in situ microfibrillar-reinforced elastomer composites

Authors

  • Sunan Saikrasun,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry and Center of Excellence for Innovation in Chemistry, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham 44150, Thailand
    • Department of Chemistry and Center of Excellence for Innovation in Chemistry, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham 44150, Thailand
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  • Panpirada Limpisawasdi,

    1. Department of Chemistry and Center of Excellence for Innovation in Chemistry, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham 44150, Thailand
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  • Taweechai Amornsakchai

    1. Center for Alternative Energy, Department of Chemistry and Center of Excellence for Innovation in Chemistry, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand
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Abstract

Microfibrillar-reinforced elastomer composites based on two dispersed phases, liquid crystalline polymer (LCP) and recycled poly(ethylene terephthalate)(rPET), and styrene-(ethylene butylene)-styrene (SEBS) were prepared using extrusion process. The rheological behavior, morphology, and thermal stability of SEBS/LCP and SEBS/rPET blends containing various dispersed phase contents were investigated. All blends and LCP exhibited shear thinning behavior, whereas Newtonian fluid behavior was observed for rPET. The incorporation of both LCP and rPET into SEBS significantly improved the processability by bringing down the melt viscosity of the blend system. The fibrillation of LCP dispersed phase was clearly observed in as-extruded strand with addition of LCP up to 20–30 wt %. Although the viscosity ratio of SEBS/rPET system is very low (0.03), rPET domains mostly appeared as droplets in as-extruded strand. The results obtained from thermogravimetric analysis suggested that an addition of LCP and rPET into the elastomer matrix improved the thermal resistance significantly in air but not in nitrogen. The simultaneous DSC profiles revealed that the thermal degradation of all polymers examined were endothermic and exothermic in nitrogen and in air, respectively. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009

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