The recycling of inseparable polymer mixtures usually results in blends with poor mechanical properties. A mixture of PP and PS was taken as a model compound for a recyclate. The effect of adding glass fibers to a mixture of PP/PS (70/30) was studied, with special attention to long glass fiber reinforcement. Test specimens were made in three different ways: by dry blending (direct injection molding), mild compounding with a single screw extruder, and compounding with a twin screw extruder. The fiber concentration was varied from 0 to 30 wt%. The fiber lengths were determined to investigate fiber attrition. The fiber lengths in the samples were 1.09 mm for dry blending, 0.72 mm for single screw compounding, and 0.33 mm for twin screw compounding. The mechanical behavior was studied by unnotched and notched Izod impact and tensile tests. The PP/PS blend had a low fracture strain and low unnotched Izod impact strength compared with a PP homopolymer. With an increasing fiber concentration and fiber length, the modulus, tensile strength, and particularly the impact strength increased. With a 30 wt% glass fiber of the long fiber compound (dry blended), the modulus was raised by a factor of 3.5, the fracture stress by a factor of 2.5 and the unnotched Izod impact strength by a factor of 10. The product quality as judged by the scatter of the data was best for the twin screw compound and poorest for the dry blend. Compounding with a single screw extruder gave fairly constant injection molding product properties, combined with excellent mechanical properties.
Inberg, J. P. F., Hunse, P. H., Hunse, P. H., & Gaymans, R. J. (1999). Long fiber reinforcement of polypropene/polystyrene blends. Polymer engineering and science, 39(2), 340-. https://doi.org/10.1002/pen.11420