Recycling of Poly(phenylene ether) Blends



The effects of postindustry recycling of polymer blends composed of poly(phenylene ether) (PPE) on the properties of the PPE blends were investigated by simulated recycling with multiple molding cycles. Two compositions with different concentrations of PPE were reprocessed with an injection-molding machine. Mechanical, thermal, rheological, and morphological characterizations were carried out on as-produced and reprocessed samples to examine the influence of the number of molding cycles on the two specific PPE blends. Efforts were made to determine the effect of each molding cycle on the specific properties of the two PPE blends, including the Elastic (E), modulus, stress at break, strain at break, multiaxial impact, and melt viscosity. The results are discussed in detail. The retention of the properties correlated well with the unperturbed morphology of the compositions before and after recycling, as observed by transmission electron microscopy analyses on fractured tensile samples. However, more in-depth microanalyses are required to identify the effect of recycling on the individual components present in the studied compositions. In this study, we aimed to establish structure–property relations upon recycling using several characterization techniques. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011