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Keywords:

  • blends;
  • poly(hydroxybutyrate-valerate);
  • polypropylene

Abstract

Polyhydroxyalkanoates are a type of polymers with a clear renewable origin, as different types of microorganisms can produce them. Unfortunately, their mechanical properties are not usually as good as those of conventional polymers and for a moment their price is relatively higher; these are two of the reasons why it is suggested in the bibliography that they can be employed forming part of blends with conventional polymers. In the present work, blends of a poly(hydroxybutyrate-valerate) (PHBV) copolymer and a polypropylene resin have been successfully processed using PHBV concentrations up to 20 phr with internal mixer and a hot plate press. Processability and applicability of such blends logically depend on their properties, and for this reason morphology, rheological, thermal properties, and tensile strength for all samples have been evaluated. Ternary blends, incorporating a poly(styrene-ethylene-butylene) copolymer have also been obtained and the influence of the blends properties has been analyzed. Results have shown that the rheological behavior and crystallization process of the system is markedly dependent on the blend composition. Although tensile strength significantly decreases with PHBV concentration, the use of low concentrations of the styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene copolymer could improve the elongation at break to a certain extent. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009