Several photo-curable hybrid systems based on methacrylate-modified camelina oil (CO) were synthesized through a copolymerization reaction with hydrophilic dimethacrylated poly(ethylene glycol) macromonomers (PEG MW = 300, 550, and 750 g/mol). In a first step, the epoxidation and subsequently the methacrylation reactions of CO were performed and monitorized using 1H NMR and FTIR. Further, the polymerization reaction of the new synthesized oil-based monomer under visible light was proved by FTIR. The chain length of methacrylate functionalized PEG was found to directly influence some key properties of the oil-based networks. The curing performance of the systems was studied by GF measurements. Water uptake capacity tests and contact angle measurements were undertaken and it was found that the internal arrangement of components is strongly affecting the hydrophilicity of the materials. Furthermore, nanostructured polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (POSS) compounds bearing one or eight methacrylated groups were selected in order to obtain innovative organic–inorganic nanocomposites. Mechanical and thermal properties were evaluated by compression tests, DMA, TGA, and also the morphology of the synthesized materials was investigated by SEM.
Practical applications: Tailoring the copolymer composition and the reinforcing agent in the manufacturing process leads to a wide range of products with optimum properties suitable for use in a variety of industrial areas. Well-defined oil-derived systems with controllable compressive strength were prepared in this work covering the whole range, from a hard material (with short chain PEG) to a soft and flexible one (with long chain PEG).