A comparative study on the efficiencies of polyethylene compatibilizers by using theoretical methods

Erol Yildirim, Mine Yurtsever*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Functionalization of polyethylene chains by grafting of polar groups onto backbones is the most versatile way for preparing polyethylene based compatibilizers (PECs). In this work, a series of theoretical studies were performed to analyze the structure, adhesion and mixing behaviors of PECs. The effect of grafting different polar groups such as acrylic acid (AA), glycidyl methacrylate (GMA), maleic anhydride (MAH) and itaconic acid (IA) on the structure and cohesive properties of polyethylene chains were studied by Molecular Dynamics simulations. The mixing behavior of grafted polyethylenes with some commodity polymers such as polyetylene teraphthalate (PET), polyamide 6 (Nylon6), polyvinyl acetate (PVA) and polylactide (PLA) as well as with starch (ST) and starch acetate (STac) were investigated quantitatively by determining accurate interaction parameters using the modified Flory-Huggins Theory. We showed that the polar groups are the most reactive sites and they bind the chemically incompatible polymers by enabling the stronger interactions at the interfacial region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9771
JournalJournal of Polymer Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012


Polylactide is most studied biological lactic acid based thermoplastic and it is found to be immiscible with PE due high χ parameter at room temperature (Fig. 9). This was supported by the SEM results which showed clear and sharp boundary between the PLA and LLDPE phases and proved weak interfacial adhesion between them [39]. Mixing of PE and PLA phases can be achieved over melting temperatures. We found that the temperature at which the phase separation starts, is 350 K. Although the χ parameter increased with temperature, the all PEC added PE/PLA blends are miscible at all temperatures and the minima at around 250–300 K have no physical meaning. Our calculations demostrated that PE-g-IA with higher interaction parameter would be a better alternative to the traditionally used PE-g-MA compa-tibilizer since it has as same functional group as PLA.

FundersFunder number
High Performance and Grid Computing Center
ITU National High Performance Computing Center


    • Compatibilizer
    • Interaction parameter
    • Mixing
    • Polyethylene composites


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