The formation processes of unfilled and filled interpenetrating polymer networks (IPNs) and some of their physico-mechanical properties have been investigated. The IPN formation kinetics and the constituent network curing rates determine the rate and degree of microphase separation. This in turn determines the boundary layer composition and structure.
Introduction of filler into the IPN during formation affects greatly the crosslinking reaction and the microphase segregation of homopolymers. It has been shown that the degree of phase segregation in filled IPNs differs from that in unfilled ones. All the fillers were found to shorten the time of internal stress appearance and to increase its value for IPNs with predominantly high-modulus component content.
Some filled IPNs were shown to have greater thermodynamic stability than unfilled ones.