Novel Biodegradable Thermoplastic Elastomer Based on Poly(butylene succinate) and Epoxidized Natural Rubber Simple Blends
Novel biodegradable thermoplastic elastomer based on epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) and poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) blend was prepared by a simple blend technique. Influence of blend ratios of ENR and PBS on morphological, mechanical, thermal and biodegradable properties were investigated. In addition, chemical interaction between ENR and PBS molecules was evaluated by means of the rheological properties and infrared spectroscopy. Furthermore, the phase inversion behavior of ENR/PBS blend was predicted by different empirical and semi-empirical models including Utracki, Paul and Barlow, Steinmann and Gergen models. It was found that the co-continuous phase morphology was observed in the blend with ENR/PBS about 58/42 wt% which is in good agreement with the model of Steinmann. This correlates well to morphological and mechanical properties together with degree of crystallinity of PBS in the blends. In addition, the biodegradability was characterized by soil burial test after 1, 3 and 9 months and found that the biodegradable ENR/PBS blends with optimum mechanical and biodegradability were successfully prepared.
KeywordsBiodegrability Bio-based thermoplastic Poly(butylene succinate) Epoxidized natural rubber
This research was financially supported by a grant from the Higher Education Research Promotion and National Research University Project of Thailand, Office of the Higher Education Commission, contract No. SIT580647S, by the Thailand Research Fund (TRF) through the Royal Golden Jubilee Ph.D. Program (Grant No. PHD/0208/2557) to Dr. Charoen Nakason as principal researcher, and to Miss Parisa Faibunchan as the research assistant and by Prince of Songkla University, Surat Thani Campus. The authors would like to express their gratitude to the University of Applied Science, Osnabruck, Germany, for their research facilities and the other supports.
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