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Article

Transparent PC/PMMA Blends Via Reactive Compatibilization in a Twin-Screw Extruder

1
Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Bayreuth, Universitätsstraße 30, Bayreuth 95447, Germany
2
Covestro Deutschland AG, Business Unit Polycarbonates, Research & Development, Development Blends, Leverkusen 51365, Germany
3
Bavarian Polymer Institute and Bayreuth Institute of Macromolecular Research; University of Bayreuth, Universitätsstraße 30, Bayreuth 95447, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(12), 2070; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11122070
Received: 6 November 2019 / Revised: 2 December 2019 / Accepted: 7 December 2019 / Published: 12 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eurofillers Polymer Blends)
The effect of different catalysts on reactive compatibilization of 50/50 polycarbonate (PC)/polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) blends achieved via transesterification that occurs during compounding in a twin-screw extruder was investigated on a phenomenological (optical and mechanical properties), mesoscopic (phase morphology), and molecular level (PC-graft(g)-PMMA-copolymer formation and polymer molecular weight degradation). Formation of PC-(g)-PMMA-copolymer by transesterification resulting in transparent mono-phase PC/PMMA blends with obviously improved compatibility of the two polymer constituents requires use of a suitable catalyst. As a side-effect, PC-(g)-PMMA-copolymer formation by transesterification is always accompanied by a significant simultaneous decomposition of the molecular weight (Mw) of the PC. For the first time, a colorless, transparent (mono-phase) PC/PMMA 50/50 blend was achieved by a twin-screw extrusion process that can be easily transferred into industrial scale. To achieve this milestone, 0.05 wt% of a weakly acidic phosphonium salt catalyst had to be applied. As a result of the decrease in Mw of the PC, the mechanical properties (e.g., tensile strain at break and impact strength) of the obtained blends were significantly deteriorated rather than improved as targeted by the polymer compatibilization; therefore, the produced transparent PC/PMMA blends are considered not yet technically suitable for any industrial applications. Different manufacturing process strategies that do not inherently result in PC degradation as a side effect of PC-graft(g)-PMMA-copolymer formation have to be developed to potentially achieve transparent PC/PMMA blends with a useful balance of properties. Based on the experimental observations of this study, a new mechanism of the transesterification reaction occurring during reactive compounding of PC and PMMA in the presence of the effective catalysts is proposed. View Full-Text
Keywords: transparency; PC; PMMA; blend; transesterification; PC-graft-PMMA copolymer; reactive compounding; continuous reactive extrusion; compatibilization transparency; PC; PMMA; blend; transesterification; PC-graft-PMMA copolymer; reactive compounding; continuous reactive extrusion; compatibilization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Bubmann, T.; Seidel, A.; Altstädt, V. Transparent PC/PMMA Blends Via Reactive Compatibilization in a Twin-Screw Extruder. Polymers 2019, 11, 2070. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11122070

AMA Style

Bubmann T, Seidel A, Altstädt V. Transparent PC/PMMA Blends Via Reactive Compatibilization in a Twin-Screw Extruder. Polymers. 2019; 11(12):2070. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11122070

Chicago/Turabian Style

Bubmann, Tobias, Andreas Seidel, and Volker Altstädt. 2019. "Transparent PC/PMMA Blends Via Reactive Compatibilization in a Twin-Screw Extruder" Polymers 11, no. 12: 2070. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11122070

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