Polymer blending is nearly as old as the polymers themselves. However, the literature dedicated to this technology is relatively recent, and primarily focused on the academic aspects of polymer blends. It seems that there is a dichotomy of efforts. On one hand, annually the industry generates about 30 million tons of blends, and on the other, academia produces over 10,000 publications dedicated mainly to studies of model systems. The only place where these two streams meet is a laboratory of industrial researcher. The Encyclopedic Dictionary discusses blends available in the world market. The information comes directly from manufacturers. To create this Baedeker of commercial polymer blends, the manufacturers were asked to prepare authorized texts containing non-confidential technical data in a standardized form or to provide literature containing required information according to the following outline: Blend Trade Name; Author's Name(s) and Company
Introduction. Chemical composition, type of the resin, morphology, history of discovery and commercialization, general characteristics.
Blending. Properties of neat ingredients, blending, compatibilization, and manufacturing methods, desired blend morphology, statistical quality control, available grades, forms, etc.
Blend properties. Mechanical, thermal, optical, chemical, electrical, environmental, heat and flammability resistance, shrinkage, and others provided in a form of standard table(s). Advantages and disadvantages of the blend.
Processing. General processing difficulties and requirements, stressing the processing-sensitive aspects of the blend. The recommended conditions for blend processing such as extrusion, molding, thermoforming, etc. Discussion of the material preparation procedures, processability window, as well as the post-processing aspects (recyclability, annealing, machining, finishing, printing, etc.). Information on the standard design criteria.
Economic aspects. Discussion of the historical consumption and prices. List of the competitive materials, viz., metals, homopolymers, other blends, etc., given in the form of standard table. List of similar blends with their trade and manufacturer names, given in the form of standard table. Quality control specifications and standards, health and safety factors, and forecast of the blend evolution.
Uses and performance. Discussion of the principal blend applications, performance of the finished product (specific advantage of the blend), stressing the critical factors affecting blends' performance, weathering, and long-term performance.
Bibliography. List of pertinent patents, scientific references, trade brochures and articles, and recommended reading.
The received responses varied from one manufacturer to the next. The texts were edited to preserve a consistent structure of the information and supplemented with data from other sources. In other cases, information from literature provided by manufacturer was processed according to the outline format (and frequently corrected by manufacturer). The blends described in the EDCPB provide a cross-section of commercial alloys available in Asia, Europe, and North America. Information included in the description of individual blends is analyzed and summarized in the Introductory Chapter contributed by the Editor, providing excellent overview of current state of the market, technology, future needs, and opportunities. The book is the most comprehensive source on commercial polymer blends ever published. The other factor of importance is that the content is based on the current, updated information therefore products discussed in the book are currently available and used by industry. Until now, this type of information was provided, at very high cost, by specialized consulting companies. The limited edition volumes were available at fees ranging in thousands of dollars. By contrast, the Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Commercial Polymer Blends is much more comprehensive in scope and detail, as well as very competitively priced. The book is unique, highly pertinent source of information for students and researchers in the field of polymer science and technology, for formulators, inventors, as well as for processing and design engineers. Furthermore, since today most polymers are blended (even if not identified as such), the information is pertinent to anyone working with polymers.