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Blending different polymers is an extremely attractive and cost-effective way of obtaining new materials from existing commercial polymers. Our previous work involved many aspects of polymer blends, from fundamentals such as specific interactions, miscibility, phase behavior and structure to material properties and performance [(1) Guo, Q., "Miscibility and Phase Behavior of Polymer Blends," in: Handbook of Thermal Analysis, Hatakeyama, T. and Liu, Z. (Eds.), John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1998, Chapter 4.3. (2) Guo, Q., "Thermosetting Polymer Blends: Miscibility, Crystallization and Related Properties," in: Polymer Blends and Alloys, Shonaike, G. O. and Simon, G. P. (eds.), Marcel Dekker, New York, 1999, Chapter 6].
Our recent research is focused on the time-dependent morphological and rheological changes that accompany the preparation of polymer blends. In particular, we have examined the morphological and rheological evolution associated with the in situ polymerization of phenoxy/SAN blends. The rheological property changes are closely related to morphology development and mechanisms of phase separation induced during in situ polymerization. The results provide a clear picture of how the blends develop, as well as a direct correlation between the changes in rheological behaviour and morphology (Guo, Q., et al, J. Polym. Sci. Part B: Polym. Phys. 2007, 45, 2614). This research plays an important role in developing multicomponent designer plastics as commercially attractive materials.