The department pursues basic research on polymer materials, their preparation and properties. Main attention is paid to: (i) the study of polymer miscibility and interfacial tension in polymer systems, (ii) the study of the effect of reactive and copolymer-based compatibilization on the structure and properties of polymer blends, (iii) the study of the course of polymer crystallization, and (iv) the investigation of the degradation and stabilization of polymer materials.
- The elucidation of differences between compatibilization efficiency of styrene-butadiene block copolymers in polystyrene/polybutadiene, polystyrene/polyethylene and polystyrene/polypropylene blends.
- The effect of composition of the combined compatibilizer, developed in the department, on its compatibilization efficiency in real municipal plastics waste.
- Long-term degradation and aging experiments with polyolefins, styrene polymers, and their blends, estimation of residual oxidation stability of aged samples and life-time predictions, as well as efficiency evaluation of various stabilizer systems.
- Correlation of the extent of oxidative deterioration with changes in processability in connection with successful recycling of polymers; the contribution of restabilization.
- Exploitation of thermo-analytical methods (DSC, TGA) for the characterization of homopolymers, polymer blends, composites and block copolymers.
- Study of the conditions for the thermodynamic stability of complex polymer systems, including macrophase separation in polymer blends, microphase separation in block copolymers, crystallization and liquid-crystalline behaviour in polymer systems, and the characterization of surface and interfacial tension in polymer melts.
Development and/or modification of multiphase polymer materials
Special attention is devoted to the recycling of commingled plastics waste using special reactive compatibilizing systems leading to high-impact materials, preserving thermoplastic behaviour.