Chemical modification of a new thermoplastic polyolefin elastomer
Nikhil K. Singha and Sandip Biswas, Indian Institute of Technology, India
Development of new single site constraint geometry metallocene catalysts enabled to prepare copolymers of ethylene with higher α-olefins which have improved properties and better processibility compared to conventional polyolefin elastomers like EPDM, IIR etc. The copolymers can be elastomers or thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) depending on the comonomer content. These new polyolefin elastomers (commercially named as Engage) have poor compatibility towards polar polymers. Chemical modification via grafting is an interesting method of compatibilizing immiscible polymer blends as well as improving interfacial adhesion and technological properties in polymeric composites. In this investigation Engage has been modified by grafting with various materials like different (meth)acrylates, thioglycolic acid, maleic anhydride etc.. This kind of modification not only improves its interfacial properties but also other important properties. For example, grafting with hydroxyl ethyl methacrylate improves the biocompatibility of the elastomers. The grafting has been carried out by different methods. The different mechanical properties have been carried out and are compared with the unmodified polymer. The modified elastomers have been characterized by FT-IR, NMR, TGA, DSC, SEM, Zwick tensile machine.