© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Superior plasticization efficiency was achieved by a grafting from functionalization of the PVC backbone. This was deduced to a synergistic effect of internal plasticization and improved intermolecular interactions between PVC and an oligomeric poly(butylene succinate-co-adipate) (PBSA) plasticizer. A mild grafting process for functionalization of the PVC chain by crotonic acid (CA) or acrylic acid (AA) was used. The formation of PVC-g-CA and PVC-g-AA was confirmed by FTIR and 1 H NMR. Grafting with the seemingly similar monomers, CA and AA, resulted in different macromolecular structures. AA is easily homopolymerized and long hydrophilic poly(acrylic acid) grafts are formed resulting in branched materials. Crotonic acid does not easily homopolymerize; instead, single crotonic acid units are located along the PVC chain, leading to basically linear PVC chains with pendant crotonic acid groups. The elongation of PVC-g-CA and PVC-g-AA in comparison to pure PVC were greatly increased from 6% to 128% and 167%, respectively, by the grafting reactions. Blending 20% (w/w) PBSA with PVC, PVC-AA or PVC-CA further increased the elongation at break to 150%, 240% and 320%, respectively, clearly showing a significant synergistic effect in the blends with functionalized PVC. This is a clearly promising milestone towards environmentally friendly flexible PVC materials.
Avalos, A. S., Hakkarainen, M., & Odelius, K. (2017). Superiorly Plasticized PVC/PBSA Blends through Crotonic and Acrylic Acid Functionalization of PVC. Polymers, 9(3). https://doi.org/10.3390/polym9030084