European Polymer Journal, 2019, vol 111pp. 152-160
A multilayer film composed of alternating layers of polycarbonate (PC) and poly(m-xylene adipamide) (MXD6) was elaborated by using an innovative multilayer coextrusion process. Quasi-continuous thin MXD6 layers (nanolayers) alternating with PC layers were successfully obtained. The PC/MXD6 multilayer film showed a confining effect of MXD6 exerted by PC layers leading to an improvement of barrier properties despite a low degree of crystallinity (Xc < 10 wt%). In order to further improve the barrier performances, crystallization treatments induced by water and by heating were then applied on the multilayer film and allowed reaching around 30 wt% of crystallinity in MXD6 layers. To decouple crystallization and geometrical constraint effects on the barrier properties in the multilayer films, the two treatments were also applied on MXD6 films. Surprisingly, despite an increase of the degree of crystallinity from 6 to 26%, water crystallization did not permit to improve gas barrier performances of the MXD6 film nor into the PC/MXD6 multilayer film. On the other hand, thermal crystallization of MXD6 in the multilayer film seems to be a more efficient route to strongly decrease the gas and moisture permeability, up to 75% for nitrogen, 58% for oxygen, 84% for carbon dioxide and 43% for water.