Band Spacing in Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) and Its Blends with Poly(propylene carbonate): Dependence on Thermal Processing.

Author(s) Li, L.; Zhang, S.; Xue, M.; Sun, X.; Ren, Z.; Li, H.; Huang, Q.; Yan, S.
Journal Langmuir
Date Published 2019 Aug 15
Abstract

The band spherulites grown in neat poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) and its blends with poly(propylene carbonate) (PPC) were observed by polarized optical microscopy. For the spherulites in neat PHB, it is evident that the band spacing increases first and then decreases with melting time. As the melting time is within 7 min, the band spacing increases continuously, which should be attributed to increasing mobility of polymer chains or decreasing viscosity of the melt. When the melting time is prolonged, evident thermal degradation of PHB occurs and results in a great deal of noncrystalline fractions, which is similar with addition of miscible amorphous polymers in the melt, and the band spacing decreases accordingly. The thermal degradation of PHB cannot, however, be detected by a thermogravimetric analyzer because of less volatile productions. An evident decrease of molecular weight can be measured by gel permeation chromatography, indicating occurrence of serious degradation. The decrease of crystallization and melting temperature revealed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) also prove the thermal degradation. For spherulites in PHB/PPC blends, however, the variation of band spacing differs from that in neat PHB. The band spacing increases continuously when melting time is within 15 min. The crystallization and melting behaviors are not influenced greatly by prolonging melting time in PHB/PPC blends. The variations of for PHB/PPC are slighter than those of the neat PHB and PPC upon heating at 190 °C. Combined with the corresponding DSC results, it is conjectured that blending may prohibit the degradation of PHB to some extent. An intermolecular interaction can be detected between PHB and PPC via Fouriertransform infrared spectra and should help to avoid degradation of PHB to a certain degree. The present results may help widen the applications of PHB and shed some light on understanding the formation mechanism of the band for aliphatic polyester polymers.

DOI 10.1021/acs.langmuir.9b01814
ISSN 1520-5827
Citation Li L, Zhang S, Xue M, Sun X, Ren Z, Li H, et al. Band Spacing in Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) and Its Blends with Poly(propylene carbonate): Dependence on Thermal Processing. Langmuir. 2019.

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