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Compatibilizers find the right blend

SpecialChem / Feb 25, 2004

Through offering the required balance of physical and chemical properties, the applications for polymer blends continue to grow. Compatibilizers provide the mechanism for blending these immiscible polymers. Jennifer Markarian looks at current trends in compatibilizers for polymer blends. Polymer blend use and subsequent compatibilizer use will continue to grow, predict industry experts. The market for compatibilizers, not including use in recycling, is estimated at 13.6 million kg (30 million pounds) in 2000 and is expected to grow at 5.4% AAGR to nearly 18.1 million kg (40 million pounds) by 2005, estimates Business Communications Company (BCC), a Connecticut, USA-based research company, in their 2001 report, Post-Polymerization Polymer Modification. Both property and price considerations drive blend growth. Polymer blends are widely used to obtain a desired balance of physical and chemical properties. The trend towards higher melting, higher thermal stability polymers is leading to greater blend use to modify these polymers that are also typically more brittle, says Karlheinz Hausmann, senior research associate at DuPont Packaging and Industrial Polymers.

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