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Int J Biol Macromol. 2000 Aug 28;27(5):355-61.

Viscoelastic properties of linseed oil-based medium chain length poly(hydroxyalkanoate) films: effects of epoxidation and curing.

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United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038, USA.


Medium-chain-length poly(hydroxyalkanoate) (mcl-PHA) polymers derived from linseed oil (PHA-L) have a relatively small molar mass and contain a high concentration of unsaturated side-chains. As such, these polymers are amorphous and take on the consistency of a viscous liquid at room temperature. In order to increase the application potential of this material, the side-chain olefinic groups of PHA-L were converted to epoxy derivatives (PHA-LE) using m-chloroperoxybenzoic acid (m-CPBA). Epoxidation resulted in a 37% conversion of olefinic to epoxy groups. The epoxy groups enhanced the PHA-LE film susceptibility to crosslinking upon exposure to air. PHA-LE films began to crosslink and stiffen in less than 25 days, whereas PHA-L films began to crosslink between days 50 and 75. The PHA-LE films showed an increase in tensile strength (TS, from 4.8 to 20.7 MPa) and Young's modulus (YM, from 12.9 to 510.6 MPa) between 25 and 100 days. In contrast, PHA-L had a TS of 25.0 MPa and YM of 767.8 MPa after 100 days. Epoxidation helped induce crosslink formation; however, aging for 100 days ultimately resulted in crosslinked films from both PHA-L and PHA-LE with higher strength and durability than the original materials.

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