Dr. Richard J. Spontak
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
CHE 761 Polymer Blends and Alloys
3 Credit Hours
(Also offered as MSE 761)
Many polymeric systems of commercial relevance consist of multiple polymeric species. As a result, most of these materials are multiphase, in which case the components segregate sufficiently to endow the system with the properties of each component. In this course, we begin with a brief review of some important concepts in polymer thermodynamics and use these concepts to describe equilibrium phase behavior. Methods for calculating, and measuring properties at, equilibrium will be described. Intrinsic limitations on polymer blending will lead to a discussion of physical and chemical methods by which such limitations can be overcome, including emulsification and reactive processing. Another means by which to produce multiphase polymeric materials is through the design of copolymers. This class of materials yields the formation of nanostructures in the same fashion as surfactants, and the ordering phenomena that occur in these systems will be discussed. Thermodynamic models designed to predict the phase behavior of such materials, as well as salient characterization methods (e.g., microscopy and scattering), will be described. Topics related to interfacial characteristics, measurement and modification will likewise be addressed.