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Fundamentals and Material Science Aspects of Particle Filled Polymer Blends

Amoabeng, Derrick (2019) Fundamentals and Material Science Aspects of Particle Filled Polymer Blends. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Filled polymers often comprise thermoplastic polymers and other particulate materials (particles) which are melt blended to form materials with improved mechanical, electrical or transport properties. In many such applications, the morphology of the blend plays a critical role in determining the properties of the blend. This dissertation seeks to exploit capillarity, i.e. interfacial tension forces, to control the microstructure of particle-filled plastics. For instance, by blending together two molten plastics and particles, a variety of structures including space-spanning aggregates, cocontinuous morphologies or fibrillar structures may be realized. These structures arise from a coupling between particle preference for one or both phases of the two immiscible polymers, interfacial tension and mixing conditions.
This dissertation conducts fundamental studies of the relationship between morphology and composition of immiscible thermoplastic polymer blends filled with particles (fused and fumed silica) which are preferentially wetted by one of the polymers. The diverse microstructures that appear in different regions of the composition space are discussed, and morphological maps are constructed for such mixtures. The fundamental knowledge is then applied to develop materials in which the morphology has a significant effect on material properties. In one case, electrically conductive polymer composites are made, where a liquid metal alloy induces the aggregation of copper particles are forced to aggregate within a polymer matrix to form conductive pathways to improve the conductivity of the polymer. In another case, particles are aggregated in the presence of wetting polymer phase by capillary force to test for improvement in mechanical properties.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Amoabeng, Derrickdea50@pitt.edudea50
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairVelankar,
Committee MemberTagbo,
Committee MemberLei,
Committee MemberIan,
Date: 10 September 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 27 June 2019
Approval Date: 10 September 2019
Submission Date: 1 July 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 160
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Particle-filled polymer blends, conductive polymer composites, cocontinuous morphology, silica particles
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2019 17:19
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2019 17:19


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