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Crystallization behavior, mechanical properties, and environmental biodegradability of poly(β-hydroxybutyrate)/cellulose acetate butyrate blends



The miscibility, crystallization behavior, tensile properties, and environmental biodegradability of poly(β-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB)/cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB) blends were studied with differential scanning calorimetry, scanning electron microscopy, wide-angle X-ray diffraction, and polarizing optical microscopy. The results indicated that PHB and CAB were miscible in the melt state. With an increase in the CAB content, the degree of crystallinity and melting temperature of the PHB phase decreased, and this broadened the narrow processability window of PHB. As the elongation at break increased from 2.2 to 7.3%, the toughness and ductility of PHB improved. From the degradation test, it could be concluded that degradation occurred gradually from the surface to the inside and that the degradation rate could be adjusted by the addition of the CAB content. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 89: 2116–2122, 2003