Polymer blends formed by the solid state mechanical alloying process

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Virginia Tech


In the early 1970's a new processing technique to produce metallic alloys was developed by Benjamin and co-workers. This novel technique, called Mechanical Alloying (MA), involves the repeated welding, working hardening, and fracture of metallic powders to form an alloy. The research presented in this thesis describes the use of the MA process to form polymer blends. Until recently there has been no published work discussing the possibility of using this technique with polymers. This research lays the ground work for using the MA process to produce polymer blends by comparing this technique to conventional polymer processing techniques.

The MA process was used to form blends of polypropylene (PP) and a liquid crystalline polymer (LCP). Samples were prepared and then characterized using thermal analysis via differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). Mechanical testing, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction (XRD) were performed on the materials. Scanning electron micrographs (SEM) of fracture surfaces are also presented. The results suggest that the solid state mechanical alloying process is a viable technique to form polymer blends.



Mechanical Alloying (MA), metallic alloys