Improvement in oxygen gas barrier properties of polyester/polyamide blends used in packaging industry is the main objective of the present study. For this purpose poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET)/poly(m-xylene adipamide) (nylon-MXD6) (95/5w/w) and poly(ethylene terephthalate-co-isophthalate) copolymer (PETI)/MXD6 (95/5w/w) blends have been prepared with a PET copolymer which consists of 5wt.% sodium sulfonated isophthalate (PET-co-5SIPA) as compatibilizer and a carboxyl-terminated polybutadiene (CTPB) as filler by using a co-rotating intermeshing twin screw extruder. The effects of chemical architecture and morphology on oxygen gas permeability and processability were analyzed by using a range of characterization techniques including differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), oxygen gas permeability analyzer, and a special computer controlled uniaxial stretching system that provides real-time measurement of true stress, true strain and birefringence. The morphological analysis revealed that PET-co-5SIPA was an effective compatibilizer for both PET/MXD6 and PETI/MXD6 blends. DSC analysis and spectral-birefringence technique were used to understand the thermal and stress-induced crystallization behavior of the blends. Morphological analysis of the films after biaxial stretching indicated that the spherical nylon phase was converted to 75nm thick disks during stretching (aspect ratio L/W=6) that creates a tortuous pathway for oxygen ingress. Stretching enhanced the barrier properties of PET/MXD6 and PETI/MXD6 blends.
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