Polymer Engineering Faculty Research

Blends of polystyrene and thermotropic liquid crystals - phase relations and rheological properties

Robert Weiss, The University of Akron


Reinforcing fibers and fillers are often incorporated into polymers in order to improve their mechanical properties and dimensional stability. Unfortunately, common reinforcements also raise the melt viscosity of the resultant composite, and in some cases may actually preclude melt processing of the material. In addition, in the case of conventional reinforcing fibers such as glass or graphite, attrition of the fiber lengths in dies and gates result in fiber aspect ratios of the order of 100 or less in the fabricated part. Since the mechanical properties are strongly dependent upon the fiber aspect ratio, this is a severe deficiency of discontinuous fiber-reinforced thermoplastics.