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Deformational characteristics of thermoplastic elastomers

Kishore K Indukuri, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This thesis focuses primarily on the structure-property relationships of poly (styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene) triblock copolymer TPEs. First evidence for strain-induced crystallization occurring in certain SEBS block copolymers has been established using unique techniques like deformation calorimetry, combined in-situ small angle X-ray and wide angle X-ray diffraction (SAXD/WAXD). Also the ramifications of such strain-induced crystallization on the mechanical properties like cyclic hysteresis, stress relaxation/creep retention of these SEBS systems have been studied. In addition, the structural changes in the morphology of these systems on deformation have been investigated using combined SAXD/WAXD setup. Small angle X-ray diffraction probed the changes at the nano-scale of polystyrene (PS) cylinders, while wide angle X-ray diffraction probed the changes at molecular length scales of the amorphous/crystalline domains of the elastomeric mid-block in these systems. New structural features at both these length scales have been observed and incorporated into the overall deformation mechanisms of the material. Continuous processing techniques like extrusion have been used to obtain ultra long-range order and orientation in these SEBS systems. Thus well ordered crystal like hexagonal packing of cylinders, where in each element in this hexagonal lattice can be individually addressed without any grain boundaries can be realized using these robust techniques. The effect of long-range order/orientation on the mechanical properties has been studied. In addition, these well ordered systems serve as model systems for evaluating deformation mechanisms of these SEBS systems, where the relative contributions of each of the phases can be estimated. EPDM/i-PP thermoplastic vulcanizates (TPVs) have micron size scale phase separated morphologies of EPDM rubber dispersed in a semicrystalline i-PP matrix as a result of the dynamic vulcanization process. Confocal microscopy studies, along with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies show that the morphology of these EPDM/i-PP systems resembles a microcellular "filled" foam in which i-PP occupies the strut regions and EPDM the inner core. Based on this, an analytical model has been developed that takes into account composition information, molecular weight, cure state and morphology into account.

Subject Area

Polymers|Materials science|Plastics

Recommended Citation

Indukuri, Kishore K, "Deformational characteristics of thermoplastic elastomers" (2006). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3212734.