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Characterization of Effects of Silica Nanoparticles on (80/20) PP/PS Blends via Nonlinear Rheological Properties from Fourier Transform Rheology

Salehiyan, Reza; Song, Hyeong Yong; Choi, Woo Jin; Hyun, Kyu


Reza Salehiyan

Hyeong Yong Song

Woo Jin Choi

Kyu Hyun


Effects of silica nanoparticles with different natures (hydrophilicity and hydrophobicity) on (80/20) PP/PS blends were investigated via linear and nonlinear rheological properties. The hydrophilic silica nanoparticle was fumed silica OX50 while the two hydrophobic ones were precipitated silica D17 and fumed silica R202. SEM images revealed that hydrophilic OX50 could not improve morphological properties of the blends. On the other hand, the two hydrophobic silica nanoparticles (R202 and D17) improved morphological properties. TEM examination showed that OX50 silica nanoparticles aggregated inside PS droplets, thereby making breakup of PS (dispersed) phase into smaller sizes more difficult. D17 and R202 improved morphological properties regardless of the different droplet size reduction mechanisms, and rheological properties improved as a result. Both linear rheological properties from SAOS (small-amplitude oscillatory shear) tests and nonlinear rheological properties from LAOS (large-amplitude oscillatory shear) tests were obtained. The nonlinear–linear viscoelastic ratio (NLR ≡ normalized nonlinear rheological properties/normalized linear rheological properties) was used to quantify the degree of droplet dispersion and distinguish the effects of silica particles on the morphology of PP/PS blends. Previous research has observed an inverse correlation between NLR and droplet size. PP/PS/OX50 blends with no alteration of droplet size showed constant NLR values (≅1) with increasing concentration of OX50 (hydrophilic silica). However, NLR values of PP/PS blends with hydrophobic silica nanoparticles (D17 and R202) were much larger than 1 (NLR > 1) and increased with silica concentration, which is consistent with morphological evolution, i.e., reducing droplet size. However, NLR values of PP/PS/R202 blends were relatively larger than those of PP/PS/D17 blends despite smaller droplet sizes. This can be attributed to a different morphology microstructure, i.e., R202 located in PP matrix phase and D17 at interface between PP and PS. Therefore, the NLR value of PP/PS/silica blend could be due to the combined effects of the interface between droplets (PP/PS blend) and particle–polymer interactions (PP/silica nanocomposites). Especially, R202 showed larger NLR values due to PP/R202 nanocomposites. Based on these findings, relative NLR (= NLRPP/PS/silica/NLRPP/silica) is proposed as an effective measurement of droplet size information in PP/PS blends by eliminating the effects of PP/silica nanocomposites. Relative NLR matched well with droplet size evolution from the SEM results.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jun 25, 2015
Publication Date 2015-07
Deposit Date Jan 30, 2023
Journal Macromolecules
Print ISSN 0024-9297
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 48
Issue 13
Pages 4669-4679