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In this study, the molten ε-caprolactam (CL) solution of maleated styrene-ethylene/butylene-styrene block copolymer (SEBS-g-MA) and polystyrene (PS) containing catalyst and activator were introduced into a twin screw extruder, and polyamide 6 (PA6)/SEBS/PS blends were successfully prepared via anionic polymerization of CL by reactive extrusion. The mechanical properties measurements indicated that both the elongation at break and notched Izod impact strength of PA6/SEBS/PS (85/10/5) blends were improved distinctly with slight loss of tensile and flexural strength as compared to that of pure PA6. The images of transmission electron microscopy showed that a core–shell structure with PS core and poly (ethene-co-1-butene) (PEB) shell was formed within the PA6 matrix. Fourier transform infrared was used to investigate the formation mechanisms of the core–shell structure. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 53:2705–2710, 2013. © 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers