Document Type: Original research
Department of polymer processing, Iran polymer and petrochemical Institute, Tehran, Iran
In this study, poly carbonate (PC) and poly (ethylene terephthalate) (PET) were reactive melt-blended under two different conditions to produce PC/PET copolymers. For each condition, samples were taken at specified mixing times representative a specific structure of copolymers and each one employed to physically compatibilize a PC/PET blend with a fixed composition. Reactive blending and copolymer structure are described by solubility analysis results. Continues declining and going through a minimum are two trends of solubility versus mixing time depending on reactive blending condition. Decreasing and increasing patterns of solubility curves were attributed to the formation of copolymers with longer and shorter block lengths, respectively, and the level of solubility was related to the amount of produced copolymers. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) techniques were employed to investigate blend compatibility. The content and structure of copolymers showed favorable correlation of Tg differences of blend components and PET crystallinity. As expected, Tg of blend components approached to each other by the addition of copolymers, and the copolymers with longer block length caused less Tg differences. The melting point and crystallinity of PET were affected by introducing the copolymers too. In addition to the main melting endotherm, melting endotherm peaks of compatibilized blends had a shoulder that its corresponding melting point and crystallinity are related to the copolymer structure so that the longer length of block copolymer or higher its amount leads to the higher melting points. The SEM micrographs showed that, after the addition of the copolymer, smaller PET particles formed and uniformly dispersed in the PC matrix. A strong correlation between the blend morphology and the level of blend compatibility was demonstrated. The more compatibilized PC/PET blend, the better dispersion of PET particles in the PC matrix was obtained. The results of this study could be a basis for designing and production of compatibilizers suitable to achieve a desired level of compatibility in PC and polyester blends, specially in PC/PET blend.