• cellulose acetate;
  • grafting;
  • oligomeric caprolactone;
  • molecular structure;
  • miscibility;
  • mechanical properties


Oligomeric polycaprolactone (oPCL) was used for the modification of cellulose acetate by reactive processing in an internal mixer at 180°C, 50 rpm, 60 min reaction time, and 45 wt % caprolactone (CL) content. The product of the reaction was characterized by several analytical techniques and its mechanical properties were determined by dynamic mechanical thermal analysis and tensile testing. The synthesized oPCL contained small and large molecular weight components. The small molecular weight fraction plasticized cellulose acetate externally and helped fusion. Although composition and structure did not differ considerably from each other when CL monomer or polycaprolactone oligomer was used for modification, the grafting of a few long chains had considerable effect on some properties of the product. The large molecular weight chains attached to CA increased the viscosity of the melt considerably and resulted in larger deformability. oPCL homopolymer is not miscible with cellulose acetate and migrates to the surface of the polymer. Exuded polycaprolactone oligomers crystallize on the surface but can be removed very easily. More intense conditions may favor the grafting of long chains leading to polymers with advantageous properties. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2009