The Use of Graft Copolymers to Bind Immiscible Blends

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Science  19 Aug 1994:
Vol. 265, Issue 5175, pp. 1072-1074
DOI: 10.1126/science.265.5175.1072


Computer simulations and experimental studies were combined to design copolymers that enhance the strength of polymer composites. These copolymers contain side chains that associate across the boundary between phase-separated regions to form a "molecular velcro" that effectively binds the regions together. This behavior significantly improves the structural integrity and mechanical properties of the material. Because the side chains can be fabricated from a large class of compounds, the technique greatly increases the variety of copolymers that can be used in forming high-strength polymer blends.