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Keywords:

  • elastomers;
  • polyamides;
  • compatibilization;
  • mechanical properties

Abstract

High performance thermoplastic elastomers based on ethylene-vinyl acetate rubber (EVM) and ternary polyamide copolymer (tPA) were prepared through a dynamic vulcanization process in the presence of dicumyl peroxide (DCP). The morphology, crystallization, and mechanical properties of the EVM/tPA blends were studied. A phase transition of EVM/tPA blend was observed at a weight ratio of 60/40. The presence of EVM increased the melting enthalpy at the high temperature of tPA, ascribing to the heterogeneous nucleating effect of EVM. The tensile strength of EVM/tPA (70/30) blends was increased up to 20.5 MPa as the DCP concentration increased to 3.5 phr, whereas the elongation at break of the blends kept decreasing as the DCP concentration increased. The addition of ethylene-acrylic acid copolymer (EAA) or maleic anhydride-grafted EVM (EVM-g-MAH) to the EVM/tPA blends both induced finer dispersion of the EVM particles in the tPA phase and improvement in the tensile strength and elongation at break of the blends, which were ascribed to the compatibilization of EAA or EVM-g-MAH. Finally, a high performance EVM/tPA (70/30) thermoplastic elastomer with Shore A hardness of 75, tensile strength of 24 MPa, elongation at break of 361%, and set at break of 20% was obtained by adding 5 wt % of EVM-g-MAH and 3.5 phr DCP. It has great potential in automotive and oil pipeline applications. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013