Dynamically vulcanized thermoplastic elastomers constitute one of the main categories among various types of thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs). Due to the commercial importance of this particular group of TPEs, tremendous efforts have been dedicated to improve the understanding and control the phase morphology development. The ultimate goal is to obtain materials with improved physical and mechanical properties. As in other polymeric compounds, the parameters during the mixing stage have a significant influence on the final morphology of dynamically vulcanized blends. Furthermore, the phase morphology and, therefore, the distribution of elastomeric domains in the thermoplastic phase are also strongly dependent on the formulation. This chapter discusses the main important processing factors and, more specifically, highlights the effects of plasticization and curing on the morphology development of dynamically vulcanized thermoplastic elastomer blends. The following text provides fundamental information on how one should take into consideration each parameter affecting the morphology of nonreactive and reactive elastomer/thermoplastic blends.
Part of the book: Thermoplastic Elastomers