Reactive Processing of Polymers

Rapra Review Report, Vol. 7, No. 1, Report 73, 1994

By A.F. Johnson, P.D. Coates, M.W.R. Brown, IRC in Polymer Science and Technology, University of Bradford

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Reactive processing of polymers involves polymerisation, chain extension or crosslinking reactions during manufacture. Reactive processes which have been used for many years include rubber vulcanisation and compression moulding of phenolic resins.

In this report the authors survey progress made in the two types of reactive processes, i.e. batch and continuous processes, from 1988 to the present. Developments in machinery, materials and applications are outlined in the context of commercial considerations and advances in fundamental understanding. The principles and benefits of polymer modification and blending via reactive extrusion are explained. A number of novel techniques which have developed out of the major reactive processes are also described.

This review is supported by an extensive bibliography compiled from the Polymer Library.

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