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Stereocomplexation of sPMMA-PBD-sPMMA triblock copolymers with isotactic PMMA: 1. Thermal and mechanical properties of stereocomplexes

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A novel thermoplastic elastomer consisting of a triblock copolymer (MBM) with outer syndiotactic poly(methyl methacrylate) (sPMMA) blocks associated to an inner polybutadiene (PBD) block has been modified by stereocomplexation with isotactic PMMA (iPMMA). Solution cast films of stereocomplexes have been analysed by thermal analysis as a function of the iPMMA/sPMMA (i/s) mixing ratio and the solvent used for the film casting. Although self-aggregation of iPMMA is currently observed, this phenomenon does not occur in solvent cast films of iPMMA with the MBM copolymers. Extent of complexation depends on the i/s mixing ratio and the casting solvent. At a constant i/s ratio, molecular weight of iPMMA has no significant effect on the extent of stereocomplexation. Thermal stability of the stereocomplexes is only affected by the casting solvent, in contrast to tensile strength which is greatly influenced by the mixing ratio of the two PMMA stereoisomers. Tensile strength is increased when increasing amounts of iPMMA are blended with a triblock copolymer of low PMMA content (e.g. 12%). In case of triblocks of high PMMA content (ca. 30% or higher), a low i/s ratio (<l/4) increases the tensile strength, whereas a high i/s mixing ratio (1/2) results in decreasing tensile strength. The same trend is observed for blends of sPMMA-polystyrene (PS)-PBD-PS-sPMMA (MSBSM) pentablock copolymers with iPMMA.


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