Cocontinuous Polymer Blends
Polymeric materials melt-blended under certain conditions can form a cocontinuous morphology with two continuous, interpenetrating phases. The addition of block copolymer can control the scale and improve the stability of these non-equilibrium morphologies. Block copolymers can also be generated during melt-blending by using reactive functional polymers. If one of the phases is removed from the blend via solvent extraction or etching, a continuous porous network is formed. This structure is being explored for potential applications in membrane support structures, scaffolds, and battery separators. These researchers use Avizo software, available through MSI, to characterize the cocontinuous morphology.
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