Image icon  Non-uniform distribution in a polymer matrix

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Description: This is a photo of thin slice of polyethylene (PE) tubing of outer diameter 5 cm. It demonstrates the poor distribution of carbon black masterbatch during extrusion. The carbon black is added to give UV protection but because of poor mixing can weaken the product substantially. Moulded rubbers and plastics are compounds of a polymer matrix and a variety of additives. The mixing history of the material before and during the moulding process can have a critical influence upon the final product properties. If mixing is done badly then the microstructure of the moulding can be non-uniform. Lack of uniformity can cause variations of strength and other physical properties within the moulding. The degree of dispersion or distribution of relatively minor quantities of additives can have a significant effect upon the properties of the product.
Keywords: PE • polyethylene • moulding • physical properties • dispersion • matrix • additives • strength • image
Categories: Materials > Polymers & elastomers
Materials > Polymers & elastomers > Plastics
Materials > Polymers & elastomers > Plastics > Thermoplastics > Polyethylene (PE)
Processes > Shaping > Moulding
Properties > Electrical, magnetic & optical
Scale > Micro
Created by: Smithers Rapra Technology Ltd
The Open University
Published by: The Open University
License: This resource is released under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license (2.0 UK: England & Wales).
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Date created: 09 March 1998
Date added: 14 December 2010
Resource ID: 3292