Effects of NCO/OH molar ratio on miscibility and properties of semiinterpenetrating polymer networks from polyurethane and benzyl konjac glucomannan



Semi-interpenetrating polymer network (semi-IPN) films with different NCO/OH molar ratios of the urethane prepolymer, coded as UB, were prepared from polyurethane (PU) and benzyl konjac glucomannan (B-KGM) by a casting method. The effect of the NCO/OH molar ratio of the urethane prepolymer on the miscibility and properties of the UB films was investigated using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic mechanical thermal analysis, thermogravimetric analysis, and swelling and tensile tests. The results indicated that, with an increase of the NCO/OH ratio, the crosslink density of the UB films increased, resulting in improved miscibility between PU and B-KGM and a relatively high light transmittance of the UB films. However, the thermal stability of the UB films decreased with increase of the NCO/OH ratio of the urethane prepolymer, due to the depolymerization of the urethane bonds of the PU networks. When the NCO/OH ratio increased from 2 to 4, the tensile strength of the UB films increased from 15 to 27 MPa, while the breaking elongation decreased from 72 to 16%, resulting from the chemical and physical crosslinks, namely, the enhancement of the covalent bonds and hydrogen-bonding networks. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 88: 1304–1310, 2003