Polystyrene/ethylene <FONT FACE=Symbol>¾</FONT> vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer blends were prepared in an internal mixer with the purpose of investigating the cocontinuous range. The effect of the processing temperature and the chemical composition of the EVA component was studied by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), selective extraction experiments and dynamic mechanical analyses (DMTA). A decrease of mixing temperature and an increase of vinyl acetate content in the EVA component resulted in a shift of the percolation threshold of dispersed PS to lower concentrations. The range where cocontinuous structure can be found depends upon the processing temperature and the EVA nature. The results obtained from selective extraction experiments are in agreement with those obtained from SEM. The changes in phase morphology with the composition and temperature processing was also confirmed by DMTA results.
Polymer blends; polystyrene; EVA copolymer; co-continuity