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Phase separation and mechanical properties of polyketone/polyamide polymer alloys



We have investigated polyketone (PK)/polyamide 6 (PA) polymer alloys having enhanced Charpy impact energy greater than that of polycarbonate (PC) as a result of moisture absorption. From the results of differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Raman spectroscopy, and transmission electron microscope (TEM) observation of the polymer alloys, it was found that PK-rich and PA-rich phases exist at the nanometer level in the polymer alloys; however, a microscopic interaction phase formed between the two phases. 3D-TEM observations, electron energy loss spectroscopy, and small-angle X-ray scattering measurements revealed that a co-continuous nanolayer formed from the PA-rich phase and lamella network of the PK-rich phase. Moreover, the interaction and mobility of PK and PA molecular chains were investigated by using a 13C cross polarization/magic angle sample spinning NMR technique. It was found that moisture absorption markedly enhances the mobility of PA molecular chains in PK/PA alloys. This suggests that the wet (moisture-absorbed) PA phase of PK/PA alloys allows quick deformation upon impact stimulation. On the other hand, the results of Charpy impact tests showed that the total impact energy (Etotal) of the wet polymer alloy was much higher than that of the dry one. An examination of the load-displacement curves revealed that the wet samples showed a pronounced increase in displacement compared with the dry ones. From these results, it was concluded that the lamella network of the PK-rich phase sustains the maximum stress and that the large displacement of the PA-rich phase increases the impact energy. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2010

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