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Reactive blending of aromatic polyesters: Thermal and X-ray analysis of melt-blended poly(ethylene terephthalate)/poly(trimethylene terephthalate)



We investigated the reactive melt blending of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) and poly(trimethylene terephthalate) (PTT) in terms of the thermal properties and structural features of the resultant materials. Our main objectives were (1) to investigate the effects of the processing conditions on the nonisothermal melt crystallization and subsequent melting behavior of the blends and (2) to assess the effects of the blending time on the structural characteristics of the transreaction products with a fixed composition. The melting parameters (e.g., the melting temperature, melting enthalpy, and crystallization temperature) decreased with the mixing time; the crystallization behavior was strongly affected by the composition and blending time. Moreover, a significant role was played by the final temperature of the heating treatment; this meant that interchange reactions occurred during blending and continued during thermal analysis. The wide-angle X-ray diffraction patterns obtained under moderate blending conditions showed the presence of crystalline peaks of PET and PTT; however, the profiles became flatter after blending. This effect was more and more evident as the mixing time increased. Transesterification reactions between the polyesters due to longer blending times with an intermediate composition led to a new copolymer material characterized by its own diffraction profile and a reduced melting temperature. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011