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Effect of the molecular architecture of poly(ε-caprolactone-b-ethylene glycol) multiblock copolymers on the compatibilization and interfacial properties of biodegradable blends of poly(lactic acid) and poly(e-caprolactone)

Grant number: 18/23542-7
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: May 01, 2019 - April 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering - Nonmetallic Materials
Principal Investigator:Marcelo Aparecido Chinelatto
Grantee:Marcelo Aparecido Chinelatto
Home Institution: Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos (EESC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Polymer blends of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and poly(E-caprolactone) have drawn scientific and technological interest, since they are composed of two biodegradable and biocompatible polyesters, whose mechanical behavior of pure components can be considered complementary. However, PLA/PCL blends are immiscible and the low interfacial adhesion between the phases provides poor mechanical properties. Multiblock copolymers derived from µ-caprolactone and ethylene glycol show high potential as compatibilizers of immiscible PLA/PCL blends, since each of its blocks shows preferential affinity for one of the present phases. However, such affinity does not guarantee reductions in the interfacial tension between the phases. The complete understanding of the compatibilization effect of those copolymers is complex and highly dependent on their molecular architecture. Therefore, this project aims at investigating the effect of the molecular architecture of poly (E-caprolactone-b-ethylene glycol) multiblock copolymers on the compatibilization and interfacial properties of PLA/PCL blends. Multiblock copolymers derived from µ-caprolactone and ethylene glycol will be synthesized via a condensation reaction. The preparation and characterization of binary and ternary blends will enable the establishment of a correlation between the molecular architecture of the copolymers and the interfacial tension between the phases and the mechanical and thermal properties of the blends towards the development of fully biodegradable and high-mechanical-performance materials. (AU)