The relation between composition and mechanical performance of a series of binary polyolefin blends was studied in this article. A fractionation of these model compounds with temperature rising elution fractionation (TREF) was applied to study the possibility to fractionate industrially relevant heterophasic polyolefin systems. The separation quality according to molecular structures or chemical composition was found to be good for most of the systems, but especially the separation of ethylene-propylene random copolymer and high density polyethylene by TREF turned out to be difficult if not impossible. An extensive mechanical characterisation including the determination of brittle-to-ductile transition curves showed significant effects of modifier type and amount. Toughness effects can be related primarily to the modulus differences between modifier and matrix. Compatibility and particle size only have a secondary influence, but must be considered for a detailed interpretation of the mechanics of the investigated systems. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013
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