Morphology, mechanical and thermal properties of nano-structured full IPNs based on polyisoprene and PMMA
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Morphology, mechanical properties, thermal stability and gas transport behaviour of interpenetrating polymer networks (IPNs) based on PI/PMMA have been investigated using various techniques. Crosslinking level of both phases and concentration of PMMA were found to have noticeable effects on the compatibility of immiscible components during IPN formation. Effect of crosslinking was studied by preparing IPNs with varying amount of crosslinker concentration in each phase. Crosslinking of both phases facilitated deeper interpenetrations between both networks, and certain degree of compatibility is attained during IPN formation. Nanometre-sized domains were observed for highly crosslinked IPN. Lower concentration of PMMA was found to favour phase mixing more effectively than others. DSC curve of 65/35 IPN showed a broad transition arising from the α and β-relaxations of PMMA due to the higher flexibility attained by mixing with the highly mobile PI chains. The mechanical properties of the IPNs were correlated to the morphology of the system and 50/50 composition showed maximum mechanical properties among the studied compositions. Mode of mechanical failure, thermal stability and gas transport behaviour were also analysed. IPNs having nanometre-sized domains showed least gas permeability among the studied samples.
KeywordsPMMA Crosslink Density Interpenetrate Polymer Network Polyisoprene Crosslinker Concentration
Authors acknowledge the technical support provided by Prof Thomas Russell, (MRSEC) Polymer Science and Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA during this research work. Sivakumar Nagarajan, S. Suriyakala (both from UMASS, Amherst, USA) and Sintomon (CUSAT) are acknowledged for the technical assistance and scientific discussion during the course of this research work.
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