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Keywords:

  • compatibilization;
  • composites;
  • functionalization of polymers;
  • reactive processing

Abstract

Summary: Reactive compatibilization of recycled low- or high-density polyethylenes (LDPE and HDPE, respectively) and ground tire rubber (GTR) via chemical interactions of pre-functionalized components in their blend interface has been carried out. Polyethylene component was functionalized with maleic anhydride (MAH) as well as the rubber component was modified via functionalization with MAH or acrylamide (AAm) using chemically or irradiation (γ-rays) induced grafting techniques. The grafting degree and molecular mass distribution of the functionalized polymers have been measured via FTIR and Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC) analyses, respectively. Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) materials based on synthesized reactive polyethylenes and GTR as well as ethylene-propylene-diene rubber, EPDM were prepared by dynamic vulcanization of the rubber phase inside thermoplastic (polyethylene) matrix and their phase structure, and main properties have been studied using DSC and mechanical testing. As a final result, the high performance TPE with improved mechanical properties have been developed.