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Study of Thermal, Phase Morphological and Mechanical Properties of Poly(L-lactide)-b-Poly(ethylene glycol)-b-Poly(L-lactide)/Poly(ethylene glycol) Blend Bioplastics

Yodthong Baimark*, Theeraphol Phromsopha
Biodegradable Polymers Research Unit, Department of Chemistry and Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, 44150, Thailand
* Corresponding Author: Yodthong Baimark. Email: yodthong.b@msu.ac.th
(This article belongs to this Special Issue: Polylactide Based Biopolymeric Systems)

Journal of Renewable Materials https://doi.org/10.32604/jrm.2023.025400

Received 09 July 2022; Accepted 05 September 2022; Published online 03 November 2022

Abstract

A poly(L-lactide)-b-poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(L-lactide)(PLLA-PEG-PLLA) block copolymer has great potential for use as a flexible bioplastic. Highly flexible bioplastics are required for flexible packaging applications. In this work, a PEG was incorporated into block copolymer as a plasticizer by solvent casting. PLLA-PEG-PLLA/ PEG blends with different blend ratios were prepared, and the plasticizing effect and miscibility of PEG in block copolymer were intensively investigated compared to PLLA/PEG blends. The results indicated that the PEG was an effective plasticizer for the block copolymer. The blending of PEG decreased glass-transition temperature and accelerated the crystallization of both the PLLA and PLLA-PEG-PLLA matrices. The PEG was completely miscible when blended with block copolymer and it improved thermal stability of the block copolymer matrix but not of the PLLA matrix. Film extensibility of PLLA-PEG-PLLA/PEG blends steadily increased as the PEG ratio increased. These non-toxic and highly flexible PLLA-PEG-PLLA/PEG bioplastics are promising candidates for several applications such as biomedical devices, tissue scaffolds and packaging materials.

Keywords

Poly(lactic acid); poly(ethylene glycol); polymer blends; phase morphology; thermal stability
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