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Effect of Poly(styrene-ran-methyl acrylate) Inclusion on the Compatibility of Polylactide/Polystyrene-b-Polybutadiene-b-Polystyrene Blends Characterized by Morphological, Thermal, Rheological, and Mechanical Measurements

Hubei Provincial Key Laboratory of Green Materials for Light Industry, Collaborative Innovation Center of Green Light-weight Materials and Processing, and School of Materials and Chemical Engineering, Hubei University of Technology, Wuhan 430068, China
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Polymers 2019, 11(5), 846; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11050846
Received: 11 April 2019 / Revised: 4 May 2019 / Accepted: 7 May 2019 / Published: 10 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Collection Sustainable Polymeric Materials from Renewable Resources)
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Abstract

A poly(styrene-ran-methyl acrylate) (S-MA) (75/25 mol/mol), synthesized by surfactant-free emulsion copolymerization, was used as a compatibilizer for polystyrene-b-polybutadiene-b-polystyrene (SBS)-toughened polylactide (PLA) blends. Upon compatibilization, the blends exhibited a refined dispersed-phase morphology, a decreased crystallinity with an increase in their amorphous interphase, improved thermal stability possibly from the thicker, stronger interfaces insusceptible to thermal energy, a convergence of the maximum decomposition-rate temperatures, enhanced magnitude of complex viscosity, dynamic storage and loss moduli, a reduced ramification degree in the high-frequency terminal region of the Han plot, and an increased semicircle radius in the Cole–Cole plot due to the prolonged chain segmental relaxation times from increases in the thickness and chain entanglement degree of the interphase. When increasing the S-MA content from 0 to 3.0 wt %, the tensile properties of the blends improved considerably until 1.0 wt %, above which they then increased insignificantly, whereas the impact strength was maximized at an optimum S-MA content of ~1.0 wt %, hypothetically due to balanced effects of the medium-size SBS particles on the stabilization of preexisting crazes and the initiation of new crazes in the PLA matrix. These observations confirm that S-MA, a random copolymer first synthesized in our laboratory, acted as an effective compatibilizer for the PLA/SBS blends. View Full-Text
Keywords: polylactide; polystyrene-b-polybutadiene-b-polystyrene; compatibilization; poly(styrene-ran-methyl acrylate); characterization polylactide; polystyrene-b-polybutadiene-b-polystyrene; compatibilization; poly(styrene-ran-methyl acrylate); characterization
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Wang, B.; Tu, Z.; Wu, C.; Hu, T.; Wang, X.; Long, S.; Gong, X. Effect of Poly(styrene-ran-methyl acrylate) Inclusion on the Compatibility of Polylactide/Polystyrene-b-Polybutadiene-b-Polystyrene Blends Characterized by Morphological, Thermal, Rheological, and Mechanical Measurements. Polymers 2019, 11, 846.

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