A series of novel thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) based on poly (phenylene ether)(PPE), which is an engineering thermoplastic with a glass transition temperature >200 °C, has been developed. The resulting blend based on PPE, Polystyrene (PS), Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) and a tri-block copolymer, Styrene-Ethylene-Butylene-Styrene (SEBS), met all the key performance criteria for thermoplastic elastomers in terms of melt processability, tensile elongation, tension set and recyclability. Depending on Flory's interaction parameter and critical surface tension value, the elastomeric components of the blends were selected. Morphological analysis of the blend using Transmission Electron Microscopy indicated a unique microstructure, wherein EVA domains were dispersed in a mainly co-continuous matrix comprising of the blend of PPE-PS/SEBS. Differential Scanning Calorimeter and Dynamic Mechanical Analysis were done to evaluate the thermal transitions of the blend and to throw light on the interactions between the various components of the blend. Thermogravimetric analysis indicated that PPE played a critical role by increasing the temperature of the onset of degradation of the blend. A comprehensive study of the structure-property correlations of this unique blend has been undertaken.

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