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Preparation and properties of bio-based polyurethane made from natural rubber and poly(ε-caprolactone)

Abstract : The aim of this research work was to prepare a novel bio-based polyurethane (PU) composed by chemically modified natural rubber (NR) and poly(ε-caprolactone) diol (PCL), with and without isocyanate. Hydroxyl telechelic natural rubber (HTNR) was synthesized via epoxidized and carbonyl telechelic natural rubber. The parameters studied included type and relative amount of diisocyanate, molar ratio between diisocyante and diol (NCO:OH), molecular weight of HTNR and PCL diol, 1,4-butane diol (BDO, chain extender) content and molar ratio between HTNR:PCL diols. Three types of diisocyanate were employed: isophorone diisocyanate (IPDI), toluene-2,4-diisocyanate (TDI) and hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI). The number average molecular weights of HTNR and PCL diol were selected: 1700, 2800 and 2900 g/mol for HTNR and 530 and 2000 g/mol for PCL diol. The NCO:OH molar ratio was in the range 0.75:1.00 – 2.85:1.00. PU was prepared by one-shot method. The chemical structure of HTNR, PCL and PU were identified by 1H-NMR FTIR and Raman spectroscopy. Tensile properties and tear resistance of PU were investigated. Characterization of mechanical and thermal properties was carried out using DSC, DMTA and TGA. A preliminary study showed that the molecular weight of PU increased with increasing NCO:OH molar ratio and reaction time, and chloroform was not a good solvent for polymer casting. Tetrahydrofuran was an appropriate solvent as it allowed film formation and it was used in all the other experiments. The NCO:OH molar ratio of 1.25:1.00 was suitable for preparing good PU films. FTIR analysis verified the presence of urethane linkages and crosslinking or chain branching. PU demonstrated excellent mechanical properties, which depended on the chemical composition. Excluding the use of PCL2000 and HDI, the tensile behavior seemed to have typical elastomeric characteristics. PU became amorphous except in the case of HDI, which was able to crystallize leading to the crystalline PU. The crystallinity increased the Young’s modulus, the tear strength, the hardness and the thermal stability of PU. PU showed a phase separation between the PCL and HTNR segments. The longer and more flexible chain and non-polarity of HTNR were responsible of a decrease of the mechanical properties and transition temperatures. The very high molar ratio of NCO:OH (2.85:1.00) changed the tensile characteristics from an elastomer to a plastic. The high crosslinking was attributed to there being no phase separation between the hard and the soft segment. Hydrogen bonding between the PCL diol and the hard segment produced a high Tg. Raman spectra were able to identify the urethane linkage of PU containing different diisocyanates by showing the relative absorbance peaks. Synthesis of PU without isocyanate was successfully obtained via a polyaddition polymerization between a cyclic carbonate telechelic PCL/NR and 1,4-butylenediamine. The cyclic carbonate telechelic NR and cyclic carbonate telechelic PCL were prepared via the modification of the hydroxyl end groups of HTNR and PCL diols to carboxylic acid end groups by reacting with succinic anhydride. Then, the carboxylic acid end groups were changed to the cyclic carbonate end groups by using glycerol carbonate.
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Wannarat Panwiriyarat. Preparation and properties of bio-based polyurethane made from natural rubber and poly(ε-caprolactone). Other. Université du Maine, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012LEMA1022⟩. ⟨tel-00795875⟩

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