The effect of shear memory on the coarsening behaviour of polystyrene/poly(vinyl methyl ether) (PS/PVME) blend which shows a typical lower critical solution temperature (LCST)-type phase diagram has been thoroughly investigated for the near critical composition (PS/PVME=30/70) using a time-resolved light scattering technique. The measurements were carried out at 135°C (20°C above the quiescent cloud point) at two different directions, parallel and normal to the direction of flow. Different shear memories were generated in the melt using a simple shear apparatus of parallel plate geometry. The coarsening process was influenced to a great extent by the shear history of the blend over the time scale of the measurement. The average domain size of the dispersed particles obtained from the analysis of the light scattering data on the basis of Deby Bueche theory was found to be shear memory dependent. The coarsening process was elevated and suppressed at low and high shear memory, respectively. This behaviour was attributed to the shift of the cloud point observed under same values of shear rates. In addition, the coarsening behaviour of this blend was found to be flow direction independent due to the very high viscosity ratio of the blend, which led to in turn rather circular domains of PS in PVME matrix without any elongation or orientation in the direction of flow. Furthermore, the coarsening process for all the measured samples was followed the general power low, R̄3(t)= R̄3(0)+t, regardless the shear history and the flow direction of the blends. This result indicated that; the shear could only retard or elevate the rate of domain growth without any effect on the coarsening mechanism.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry