Isothermal crystallization kinetics and mechanical properties of polycaprolactone composites with zinc oxide, oleic acid, and glycerol monooleate



The isothermal crystallization and mechanical behavior of polycaprolactone (PCL) with zinc oxide (ZnO) with oleic acid and glycerol monooleate (GMO) were studied. Theoretical melting points calculated by the Flory–Huggins and Thompson–Gibbs models were thoroughly compared with differential scanning calorimetry experimental observations. The isothermal crystallization kinetic parameters by Avrami analysis showed that crystallization was controlled by nucleation, crystal growth was spherical, and the nucleation type changed between thermal and athermal nucleation. X-ray diffraction showed that when the additives were used together both the crystal thickness and the degree of crystallinity increased. A multiple-response regression analysis was made with the ZnO, oleic acid, and GMO concentrations as variables and the crystallinity as output. Interaction parameters by the Pukanzky model were calculated from the tensile strength at the yield point and indicated that the addition of oleic acid or GMO improved the interface between the ZnO particles and PCL. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 130: 1259-1275, 2013