Interpenetrating Polymer Networks
Interpenetrating polymer networks (IPN’s) are a unique type of polyblend, synthesized by swelling a crosslinked polymer (I) with a second monomer (II), together with crosslinking and activating agents, and polymerizing monomer II in situ (Sperling, 1974–1975 ; Sperling and Friedman, 1969). The term IPN was adopted because, in the limiting case of high compatibility between crosslinked polymers I and II, both networks could be visualized as being interpenetrating and continuous throughout the entire macroscopic sample.* As with other types of polyblends, if components I and II consist of chemically distinct polymers, incompatibility and some degree of phase separation usually result (Sperling, 1974–1975; Sperling and Friedman, 1969; Sperling et al., 1970a,b,c; 1971). Even under these conditions, the two components remain intimately mixed, the phase domain dimensions being on the order of hundreds of angstroms. If one polymer is elastomeric and one polymer is plastic at the use temperature, the combination tends to behave synergistically, and either reinforced rubber or impact-resistant plastics result, depending upon which phase predominates (Curtius et al., 1972; Sperling and Mihalakis, 1973; Sperling et al., 1971; Huelck et al., 1972). Among the other kinds of polymer blends discussed in this monograph, the graft-type copolymers are the ones most closely related to the IPN’s.
KeywordsRubber Polystyrene Vinyl Turbidity Styrene
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.