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Electrostatic Contributions in the Increased Compatibility of Polymer Blends

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journal contribution
posted on 2011-12-20, 00:00 authored by Elisângela M. Linares, Sergio A. V. Jannuzzi, Fernando Galembeck
Successful blending of different polymers to make a structural or functional material requires overcoming limitations due to immiscibility and/or incompatibility that arise from large polymer–polymer interfacial tensions. In the case of latex blends, the combination of capillary adhesion during the blended dispersion drying stage with electrostatic adhesion in the final product is an effective strategy to avoid these limitations, which has been extended to a number of polymer blends and composites. This work shows that adhesion of polymer domains in blends made with natural rubber and synthetic latexes is enhanced by electrostatic adhesion that is in turn enhanced by ion migration, according to the results from scanning electric potential microscopy. The additional attractive force between domains improves blend stability and mechanical properties, broadening the possibilities and scope of latex blends, in consonance with the “green chemistry” paradigm. This novel approach based on electrostatic adhesion can be easily extended to multicomponent systems, including nonpolymers.