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Preparation and characterization of polyethylene glycol/poly(L-lactic acid) blends

Authors
  • Athanasoulia, Ioanna-Georgia
  • Tarantili, Petroula A.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Pure and Applied Chemistry
Publisher
Walter de Gruyter GmbH
Publication Date
Dec 23, 2016
Volume
89
Issue
1
Pages
141–152
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1515/pac-2016-0919
Source
De Gruyter
Keywords
License
Yellow

Abstract

The effect of incorporation of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) on thermomechanical and hydrophilicity properties of poly(L-lactic acid) (PLLA) was investigated. PEG/PLLA blends, containing 10, 20, 30 and 40 wt% PEG, were prepared by melt-extrusion in a co-rotating twin-screw extruder. By DSC analysis, it was observed that the Tg of PLLA phase in PEG/PLLA blends decreased accompanied by a significant decrease in Tcc and increase in their melting enthalpy. Therefore, the addition of PEG enhances the crystallization ability of PLLA phase due to its lubricating effect which increased mobility of PLLA chains. From TGA it was observed that low concentrations of PEG (10 & 20 wt%) increase the Tonset of thermal degradation, probably due to improved heat resistance of the crystalline phase. At higher PEG content, the Tonset decreases, as the lubricating effect becomes the controlling mechanism for the initiation of degradation process. Decrease in tensile strength and modulus was recorded especially in PLLA blends with PEG content higher than 20 wt%. The elongation at break decreases reaching a maximum at 20 wt% PEG and then dropped again. To investigate the effect of PEG on the wetting ability of PLLA, water contact angle measurements were performed. The results indicate that the introduction of PEG lowers the contact angle values in PEG/PLLA film surfaces, as compared to pure PLLA, suggesting improved hydrophilic properties.

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