Phase inversion detection in immiscible binary polymer blends via zero-shear viscosity measurements

Frederique A. Versteeg, Adrivit Mukherjee, Francesco Picchioni, Daniele Parisi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

In the present work, we demonstrate that zero-shear viscosity is a sensitive rheological function to detect phase inversion in immiscible binary polymer blends characterized by a viscosity ratio larger than one. The phase inversion of poly(propylene) (PP)/low-density poly(ethylene) (LDPE) and poly(styrene) (PS)/LDPE, at various compositions, was assessed via our novel approach. For both blends, three distinctive regions could be determined through zero-shear viscosity measurements; the LDPE matrix, the co-continuous phase, and the PS or PP matrix. For PP/LDPE blends, the co-continuous structure was between 50 and 75 wt.% PP, and for PS/LDPE blends the co-continuous structure was between 45 and 75 wt.% PS, in agreement with scanning electron microscopy analysis, empirical model predictions, and literature data. Highlights: Phase inversion revealed via viscosity measurements. Limitations of linear viscoelastic models for immiscible blends assessed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalPolymer Engineering and Science
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15-Apr-2024

Keywords

  • phase inversion
  • phase morphology
  • polymer blends
  • shear rheology
  • zero-shear viscosity

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