In this work, gradient materials with low electrical resistivity were prepared by compounding isotactic polypropylene (iPP)/high density polyethylene (HDPE) blends with carbon black (CB) through extruding and injection molding. Contact angle measurements and morphology measurements showed that the CB particles were selectively located in HDPE phase and the final composites had a gradient structure that the HDPE/CB phase exhibited different morphologies in the skin layer and core layer of the composites under different processing procedures. The main factors influencing the formation of the functional gradient materials (FGM), including screw speed during extruding, iPP types and CB contents were discussed. They affect the phase morphology by shear stress, the restoration of HDPE phase, and the viscosity ratio of polymer blends, respectively. In conclusion, iPP/HDPE/CB FGM could be formed easily in the composites blending with the iPP type with narrow molecular weight distribution (MWD) and higher CB content extruded at higher screw speed. The electrical properties of iPP/HDPE/CB composites were studied and the results showed that screw speed in extrusion significantly influenced the percolation curve and electrical property of the final composites. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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