Fully sustainable poly[HPMC-g-(PMVL-b-PLLA)] graft block copolymer thermoplastics were prepared from hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC), β-methyl-δ-valerolactone (MVL), and l-lactide (LLA) using a facile two-step sequential addition approach. In these materials, rubbery PMVL functions as a bridge between the semirigid HPMC backbone and the hard PLLA end blocks. This specific arrangement facilitates PLLA crystallization, which induces microphase separation and physical cross-linking. By changing the backbone molar mass or side chain composition, these thermoplastic materials can be easily tailored to access either plastic or elastomeric behavior. Moreover, the graft block architecture can be utilized to overcome the processing limitations inherent to linear block polymers. Good control over molar mass and composition enables the deliberate design of HPMC-g-(PMVL-b-PLLA) samples that are incapable of microphase separation in the melt state. These materials are characterized by relatively low zero shear viscosities in the melt state, an indication of easy processability. The simple and scalable synthetic procedure, use of inexpensive and renewable precursors, and exceptional rheological and mechanical properties make HPMC-g-(PMVL-b-PLLA) polymers attractive for a broad range of applications. (Figure Presented).
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding for this work was provided by the Center for Sustainable Polymers at the University of Minnesota, a National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported Center for Chemical Innovation (CHE-1413862). SAXS data were at the DuPont-Northwestern Dow Collaborative Access Team (DND-CAT) Synchrotron Research Center located at Sector 5 of the APS. DND-CAT is supported by the E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., The Dow Chemical Company, the U.S. National Science Foundation through Grant DMR-9304725, and the State of Illinois through the Department of Commerce and the Board of Higher Education Grant IBHE HECA NWU 96. Use of the APS was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357.
© 2016 American Chemical Society.