Microstructural evolution in polymer blends

Charles L. Tucker, Paula Moldenaers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microstructure in an immiscible polymer blend consists of the size, shape, and orientation of the phases. Blends exhibit many interesting behaviors, including enhanced elasticity at small strains, drop-size hysteresis, enhanced shear thinning, and stress relaxation curves whose shapes are sensitive to deformation history. These behaviors are directly related to changes in the microstructure, which result from phase deformation, coalescence, retraction, and different types of breakup. These phenomena are reviewed, together with models that describe them. Rheological measurements can probe the microstructure because microstructure contributes directly to stress through interfacial tension. Rheo-optical experiments also provide important insights. Droplet theories explain most of the phenomena for Newtonian phases at low concentrations. Behaviors at high volume fractions or with strongly non-Newtonian phases are less well understood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-210
Number of pages34
JournalAnnual Review of Fluid Mechanics
StatePublished - 2002


  • Blend rheology
  • Breakup
  • Coalescene
  • Doi-Ohta model
  • Droplet deformation
  • Excess stress
  • Interfacial tension
  • Morphology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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