Polymer Engineering Faculty Research

The influence of intermolecular interactions on the melt rheology of a propylene-acrylic acid copolymer and its salts.

Robert Weiss, The University of Akron


Ionomers based on propylene–acrylic acid copolymer have been prepared and their rheological behavior studied. With different cations the melt viscosity at any shear rate increases as tributylamine salt < acid < zinc salt < sodium salt. Similarly, the activation energies for viscous flow follow the order polypropylene ∼ tributylamine salt < acid ∼ zinc salt < sodium salt. These results are a consequence of intermolecular interactions between salt groups for the metal acrylate derivatives and hydrogen bonding for the acid derivatives. Strong ionic interactions are absent in the tributylamine salt because of steric hindrance of the bulky amine substituents. The glass transition temperatures for these materials were equivalent. The elastic properties of these polymers follow a similar trend as does the viscosity.