Morphology of Polymers - Development of Electron Microscopy Methods

University dissertation from Helen Hassander

Abstract: Most polymeric materials used today are not simple homopolymers, but consist of more than one polymer, which lead to morphologies of different length scale and shape. It is important to receive knowledge of the morphologies because the properties of the materials change depending on the structure. This thesis describes methods developed to study polymer morphologies by electron microscopy and also how to make a correct interpretation of the result. TEM (Transmission Electron Microscope) and SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) are described for studying morphologies in PVC (polyvinyl chloride) resin, polymer blends, compatibilizer in polymer blends, latex particles, latex films and bitumen/polymer blends. Following polymer blends were studied: Carbon black filled NBR/EPDM (nitril butadiene rubber/ethylene-propylene-diene terpolymer), PP/PA (polypropylene/polyamid) Modified with SEBS-MA (polystyrene-block-poly(ethylene-stat-butylene)-block-polystyrene) modified by grafting with maleic anhydride, PS/PA (polystyrene/polyamide) compatibilized by a PS/PEO (polystyrene/poly(ethylene oxide)) grafted compatibilizer. Waterborne two-phase latexs are used as binding material in paints, adhesives, paper and other coatings. Methods to examine the morphology of the particles and the films in TEM were developed and PS/PMMA (polystyrene/poly(methacrylate)) and PS/PI (polystyrene/polyisoprene) was studied. Bitumen roofing material is improved by mixing the bitumen with polymers. The morphology of bitumen/SBS (polystyrene-block-butadien) was studied by fluorescence microscope, SEM and TEM and the results were compared.

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