The patent's assignee for patent number 8618202 is 3M
News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Multiphase polymer blends are of major economic importance in the polymer industry. Blending different polymers enables the production of new polymeric materials having an attractive balance of physical properties. For example, to enhance the impact strength of a brittle polymer such as polystyrene, small amounts of a rubbery polymer such as polybutadiene may be added to create a polymer blend which is tougher and more ductile than unblended polystyrene.
"The development of useful polymer blends is difficult because of the inherent immiscibility of most polymers, which results in coarsely phase separated polymer mixtures in which the interfaces between components are compositionally sharp and mechanically weak. To overcome the problems created by inherently immiscible polymer blends, most commercial polymer blends consist of two polymers combined with small amounts of a third, compatibilizing polymer, such as a block or graft copolymer. In the polystyrene/polybutadiene example, a block or graft copolymer having polystyrene monomers and polybutadiene monomers may be used.
"While the use of compatiblilizing polymers is effective in creating more stable blends of polymers, which would otherwise be immiscible, compatiblilizing polymers must be tailor made for the specific polymers used in a particular blend."
As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention relates to the use of surface-modified nanoparticles to alter the morphology and microstructure of polymer blends. The addition of surface modified nanoparticles to polymer blends comprised of immiscible polymers facilitates the uniform distribution of the dispersed phase of the polymer blend.
"In an embodiment, the present invention relates to a polymer blend comprising: (1) a continuous phase comprising at least one polymer, monomer or oligomer, and a plurality of surface-modified nanoparticles having a particle diameter of less than about 100 nanometers dispersed in the continuous polymer phase, and (2) a dispersed phase comprising at least one polymer, monomer or oligomer, wherein the continuous polymer phase and the dispersed polymer phase are immiscible.
"Further embodiments are variations of the invention are further described below."
For additional information on this patent, see:
Keywords for this news article include: Nanoparticle, Polystyrenes, Nanotechnology, Benzene Derivatives, Benzylidene Compounds, Emerging Technologies, 3M
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