A quantitative approach to modeling polymer blend compatibility
Mikel, Natausha J.
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Some of the difficulties in designing polymer blends have been hinted at in the previous section. Polymer blending, including blending of virgin and recycled polymers, is a relatively new area. Even so, a great deal of scientific research has been undertaken pertaining to this area mainly due to the recognition of the importance of this field. As a result, there is a theoretical understanding of many aspects of polymer blending. The goal of this work was to organize some of these theoretical aspects into a modeling tool to aid in the development and/or improvement of polymer blends. The emphasis of this model was on polymer/polymer blends and does not include polymer solutions which differ slightly from polymer/polymer blends in behavior. The model which was developed is based on first principals and is meant to be used as a directional tool. It does not address some aspects of blending, such as rheology, crystallization, or the kinetics of phase separation. The main focus of the modal is on determination of blend compatibility with additional exploration of methods for the prediction of physical properties ofa blend. Because these two areas of interest can be approached separately depending on the needs of the user, the model developed is essentially presented as an algorithm using different modaling approaches to address the two specific areas mentioned. This allows a user to bypass compatibility modeling in a case where property predictions are dasu-ad for a wall-defined compatible blend.