Melt rheology of electron-beam-irradiated blends of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene-diene monomer (EPDM) rubber

J.G.M. Gisbergen, van, W.F.L.M. Hoeben, H.E.H. Meijer

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Abstract

A detailed rheologicai analysis over large shear rate intervals has been performed for electron-beam-irradiated blends of polypropylene (PP) and ethylenepropylene-diene monomer (EPDM) rubber. At high frequencies, a lower viscosity results from irradiation compared with unirradiated blends, which implies that the irradiated blends are easily processable via injection molding. At low shear rates, however, the irradiated blends behave like a network, and the viscosity may even exceed the viscosity of the unirradiated blends. This particular behavior can result in the formation of weak weld lines. Aggregation of the dispersed, cross-linked EPDM particles into a skeletal structure is the most probable explanation. In a first attempt, it was tried to correlate the network behavior to the average (shortest) interparticle distance (ID) between two rubber particles, which takes into account both volume fractions and particle size of the dispersed phase. Provided that the EPDM rubber is sufficiently cross-linked, the network behavior becomes more pronounced; i.e., increase in viscosity with decreasing interparticle distance. Above a critical value of the ID, the viscosity does not change and is determined by the PP matrix. As a vast amount of literature indicates, the rheology of blends proves to be difficult to understand. Because of the more stable morphology, compared with usual blends, induced by irradiation, a more valuable interpretation of the rheological behavior is possible.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1539-1544
JournalPolymer Engineering and Science
Volume31
Issue number21
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1991

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