Melt processed microporous films from compatibilized immiscible blends with potential as membranes

M. Xanthos, C. Chandavasu, K. K. Sirkar, C. G. Gogos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Microporous flat films with potential as membranes were produced via melt processing and post-extrusion drawing from immiscible polypropylene/polystyrene blends containing a compatibilizing copolymer. The blends were first compounded in a co-rotating twin-screw extruder and subsequently extruded through a sheet die to obtain the precursor films. These were uniaxially drawn (100%-500%) with respect to the original dimensions to induce porosity and then post-treated at elevated temperatures to stabilize the resultant structure, which consisted of uniform microcracks in the order of a few nanometers in width. The effects of blend composition and extrusion process parameters on surface and cross-sectional porosity and solvent permeability of the prepared films are presented and related to specific microstructural features of the films before and after drawing. Finite element modeling of the stretching operation in the solid state yielded a successful interpretation of the blend response to uniaxial tension that resulted in microcrack formation. Comparison of some of the novel microporous structures of this work with commercial membranes prepared by solvent-based phase inversion processes suggests comparable pore size and porosity ranges, with narrower pore size distribution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)810-825
Number of pages16
JournalPolymer Engineering and Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


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