The effect of the drying rate of the solvent on microstructure evolution in thin films of immiscible polystyrene/polycarbonate blends was investigated by applying a stepwise change in air velocity. The polymer blend was dissolved in tetrahydrofuran and cast on a glass substrate to form a thin liquid film. The drying rate of the solvent was measured by a gravimetric technique, and the phase-separated structure in the film was observed by optical microscopy. The results indicated that cellular structures of droplet arrays were formed in the phases evolved primarily during the early stage of drying, and the droplets then coalesced in the intermediate stage to form bigger droplets. The size of the first evolved phase decreased with increasing time at a high drying rate, whereas larger droplets were obtained with longer high drying rate regimes. These results suggested that the droplets were induced by secondary phase separation which was strongly affected by the drying rate of the solvent.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry