Natural amorphous polymer poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-4-hydroxybutyrate) (P3HB4HB) containing 41 mol % of 4HB was blended with poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) with an aim to improve the properties of PHB. The influence of P3HB4HB contents on thermal and mechanical properties of the blends was evaluated with differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, stress-strain measurement and thermo gravimetric analyzer. Miscibility of PHB/P3HB4HB blends was mainly decided by the contents of P3HB4HB. When P3HB4HB exceeded 50 wt %, the two polymer phases separated and showed immiscibility. The addition of P3HB4HB did not alter the crystallinity of PHB, yet it diluted the PHB crystalline phase as revealed by DSC studies. DSC and FTIR results showed that the Overall crystallinity of the blends decreased remarkably with increasing of P3HB4HB contents. Decreased glass transition temperature and crystallinity imparted desired flexibility for the blends. The ductility of the blends increased progressively with increasing of P3HB4HB content. Thus, the PHB mechanical properties can be modulated by changing the blend composition. P3HB4HB did not significantly improve the thermal stability of PHB, yet it is possible to melt process PHB without much molecular weights loss via blending it with suitable amounts of P3HB4HB.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry