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Keywords:

  • processing;
  • renewable resources;
  • resins;
  • rheology;
  • thermosets

Abstract

The rheology of chemically modified plant oils was determined to aid in their processing for polymers and other applications. Epoxidized and acrylated triglycerides were derived from various plant oils and model triglycerides. The viscosity of the unmodified oils decreased as the level of oil unsaturation increased. However, the viscosity of the epoxidized oils increased slightly as the level of epoxidation increased. Furthermore, the viscosity of the acrylated oils increased exponentially as the level of acrylation increased because of increased polarity. In addition, the viscosity of the acrylated oils increased as the average distance of the acrylate groups from the fatty acid chain ends decreased. Chemically modified and unmodified oils did not exhibit any shear-thinning behavior or any memory of shear history. The temperature dependence of the viscosity followed the Arrhenius law, and the activation energy decreased linearly with the level of acrylation. The addition of comonomers, such as styrene, reduced the viscosity of the acrylated oils exponentially as the comonomer concentration increased. However, the glass-transition temperature and modulus of the triglyceride-based polymers decreased as the styrene content decreased. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 95: 774–783, 2005