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Polymers (Basel). 2018 Jul 19;10(7). pii: E796. doi: 10.3390/polym10070796.

Star Shaped Long Chain Branched Poly (lactic acid) Prepared by Melt Transesterification with Trimethylolpropane Triacrylate and Nano-ZnO.

Author information

1
Department of Polymer Materials and Engineering, College of Materials and Metallurgy, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, China. gs.leiyang15@gzu.edu.cn.
2
Department of Polymer Materials and Engineering, College of Materials and Metallurgy, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, China. gs.zjyang15@gzu.edu.cn.
3
Department of Polymer Materials and Engineering, College of Materials and Metallurgy, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, China. gs.fengz16@gzu.edu.cn.
4
Department of Polymer Materials and Engineering, College of Materials and Metallurgy, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, China. gs.ljxie16@gzu.edu.cn.
5
Department of Polymer Materials and Engineering, College of Materials and Metallurgy, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, China. zluo1@gzu.edu.cn.
6
Department of Polymer Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, China. zhengqiang@zju.edu.cn.

Abstract

Long chain branched poly (lactic acid) (LCBPLA) was prepared via transesterification between high molecular weight poly (lactic acid) (PLA) and low molar mass monomer trimethylolpropane triacrylate (TMPTA) during melt blending in the presence of zinc oxide nanoparticles (nano-ZnO) as a transesterification accelerant in a torque rheometer. Compared with the traditional processing methods, this novel way is high-efficiency, environmentally friendly, and gel-free. The results revealed that chain restructuring reactions occurred and TMPTA was grafted onto the PLA backbone. The topological structures of LCBPLA were verified and investigated in detail. It was found that the concentration of the accelerants and the sampling occasion had very important roles in the occurrence of branching structures. When the nano-ZnO dosage was 0.4 phr and PLA was sampled at the time corresponding to the reaction peak in the torque curve, PLA exhibited a star-shaped topological structure with a high branching degree which could obviously affect the melt strength, extrusion foaming performances, and crystallization behaviors. Compared with pristine PLA, LCBPLA showed a higher melt strength, smaller cell diameter, and slower crystallization speed owing to the synergistic effects of nano-ZnO and the long chain branches introduced by the transesterification reaction in the system. However, severe degradation of the LCBPLAs would take place under a mixing time that was too long and lots of short linear chains generated due to the excessive transesterification reaction, with a sharp decline in melt strength.

KEYWORDS:

Poly (lactic acid); long chain branched; melt strength; star-shaped; transesterification

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