Submitted to: American Institute of Chemical Engineers
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 8, 2002
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Biodegradable polyesters are critical components in the development of biomaterials from synthetic and/or natural polymers. Manufacture of useful blends requires that the biodegradable polyesters be compatible with the polymers they are blended with. Compatibility is evaluated by measuring the interfacial tension of the blend. Polycaprolactone (PCL), polylactic acid (PLA), and Eastar Bio Copolyester 14766 (EBC) are three of the biodegradable polyesters available commercially for blending with synthetic and/or natural polymers. The interfacial tensions of blends of polystyrene (PS) with PCL, PLA, and EBC have been determined using the imbedded fiber retraction method. The results indicate significant differences in the interfacial tensions among these three blends. These differences in interfacial tension are an indication of differences in the compatibility between PS and these biodegradable polyesters. Differences in compatibility will affect the morphological, thermal, mechanical, and other properties of the blend. The mechanical properties of PS/PCL, PS/PLA, and PS/EBC blends are evaluated to determine the effect of blend compatibility. These results are analyzed to help quantify the effect of interfacial and other factors (e.g., rheological properties) on mechanical properties.