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Pure Appl. Chem., 2011, Vol. 83, No. 10, pp. 1819-1830

Published online 2011-07-14

Morphology development of polytetrafluoroethylene in a polypropylene melt (IUPAC Technical Report)

Mohd Amran Bin Md Ali, Shogo Nobukawa and Masayuki Yamaguchi*

School of Materials Science, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, 1-1 Asahidai, Nomi, Ishikawa 923-1292 Japan

Abstract: Morphology development of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) caused by applied flow history in molten isotactic polypropylene (PP) is investigated, employing a cone-and-plate rheometer and a capillary rheometer as mixing devices. Since the flow history is applied at 190 °C, PTFE is in the solid state whereas PP is in the molten state. It is found that primary PTFE particles tend to be agglomerated together by mechanical interlocking. Then they are fragmented into fibers by hydrodynamic force with reorganization process of crystalline phase. The diameter of the fragmented fibers is the same as that of the original ellipsoidal particles. Further, fine fibers whose diameter is in the range from 50 to 100 nm are also generated by yielding behavior of the particles. The prolonged shearing leads to a large number of fibers, although the diameter and length are hardly affected by the exposure time of shearing and shear stress. Moreover, the flow type (i.e., drag or pressure flow) does not affect the morphology to a great extent, although the drag flow is not efficient to reduce large agglomerated particles. The fibers form an interdigitated network structure, which is responsible for the marked melt elasticity.