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Improving the Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Poly(l-lactide) by Forming Nanocomposites with an in Situ Ring-Opening Intermediate of Poly(l-lactide) and Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane

1
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Jiangsu University of Science and Technology, Zhenjiang 212003, China
2
Jiangsu Provincial Engineering Laboratory for Advanced Materials of Salt Chemical Industry, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huai’an 223003, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2019, 9(5), 748; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano9050748
Received: 31 March 2019 / Revised: 4 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 15 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Thermoplastic Nanocomposites)
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Abstract

In this study, a series of poly(l-lactide) and (3-amino)-propylheptaisobutyl cage silsesquioxane (PLLA-AMPOSS) intermediates were first fabricated using single-arm in situ solution polymerization of LLA monomers and AMPOSS nanoparticles with different contents, 0.02–1.00 mol%. Then, the PLLA-AMPOSS intermediate with 0.5 mol% AMPOSS was selected as a representative and investigated by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). Afterwards, it was added into the pure PLLA with different mass fractions. Finally, the thermal behavior, crystallization kinetics, morphological characteristics, and mechanical properties of the obtained PLLA/PLLA-AMPOSS nanocomposites were carefully measured and investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), polarizing microscopy (POM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and tensile test. After comparing the PLLA-AMPOSS intermediate and PLLA/AMPOSS blend, the results show that the ring-open polymerization of PLLA-AMPOSS intermediate was successful. The results also show that the existence of PLLA-AMPOSS has a strong influence on the crystallization behavior of PLLA/PLLA-AMPOSS composites, which can be attributed to the heterogeneous nucleation effect of PLLA-AMPOSS. In addition, it was also found from the tensile test results that the addition of the PLLA-AMPOSS nanofiller improved the tensile strength and strain at break of PLLA/PLLA-AMPOSS nanocomposites. All of these results indicate the good nucleating effect of PLLA-AMPOSS and that the AMPOSS disperses well in the PLLA/PLLA-AMPOSS nanocomposites. A conclusion can be drawn that the selective nucleating agent and the combined method of in situ ring-opening polymerization and physical blending are feasible and effective.
Keywords: poly(l-lactide) (PLLA); ring-opening polymerization; compatibility; nanocomposites; (3-amino)-propylheptaisobutyl cage silsesquioxane (AMPOSS) poly(l-lactide) (PLLA); ring-opening polymerization; compatibility; nanocomposites; (3-amino)-propylheptaisobutyl cage silsesquioxane (AMPOSS)
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Lei, X.-X.; Lu, H.; Lu, L.; Xu, H.-Q.; Zhou, Y.-G.; Zou, J. Improving the Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Poly(l-lactide) by Forming Nanocomposites with an in Situ Ring-Opening Intermediate of Poly(l-lactide) and Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxane. Nanomaterials 2019, 9, 748.

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