Polymer Engineering Faculty Research

Characterization of Blends of an Amorphous Polyamide with Lightly Sulfonated Polystyrene Ionomers

Robert Weiss, The University of Akron


Improved compatibility of blends of polystyrene and an amorphous polyamide was achieved by lightly sulfonating the polystyrene. Hydrogen bonding between amide groups and either sulfonic acid or metal sulfonate groups lowered the interfacial tension between the two polymers, which led to a much finer dispersed phase size in blends involving the sulfonated polystyrene. At relatively high sulfonate to amide ratios, the two polymers formed a miscible blend. Improved mixing of the phases was verified by shifts in the glass transitions, and the specific interactions that occurred were characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy.