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This content will become publicly available on February 26, 2017

Title: Biorenewable tough blends of polylactide and acrylated epoxidized soybean oil compatibilized by a polylactide star polymer

Polylactide (PLA), a commercially available thermoplastic derived from plant sugars, finds applications in consumer products, disposable packaging, and textiles, among others. The widespread application of this material is limited by its brittleness, as evidenced by low tensile elongation at break, impact strength, and fracture toughness. Herein, a multifunctional vegetable oil, acrylated epoxidized soybean oil (AESO), was investigated as a biodegradable, renewable additive to improve the toughness of PLA. AESO was found to be a highly reactive oil, providing a dispersed phase with tunable properties in which the acrylate groups underwent cross-linking at the elevated temperatures required for processing the blends. Additionally, the presence of hydroxyl groups on AESO provided two routes for compatibilization of PLA/AESO blends: (1) reactive compatibilization through the transesterification of AESO and PLA and (2) synthesis of a PLA star polymer with an AESO core. The morphological, thermal, and mechanical behaviors of PLA/oil blends were investigated, in which the dispersed oil phase consisted of AESO, soybean oil (SYBO), or a 50/50 mixture of AESO/SYBO. The oil additives were found to toughen the PLA matrix, with significant enhancements in the elongation at break and tensile toughness values, while maintaining the glass transition temperature of neat PLA. Specifically, themore » blend containing PLA, AESO, SYBO, and the PLA star polymer was found to exhibit a uniform oil droplet size distribution with small average droplet size and interparticle distance, resulting in the greatest enhancements of PLA tensile properties with no observable plasticization.« less
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  1. Univ. of Houston, Houston, TX (United States)
  2. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Pusan National Univ., Pusan (Korea)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
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Accepted Manuscript
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Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 49; Journal Issue: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 0024-9297
American Chemical Society
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States