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Abstract

Thermal analyses of epoxidized soybean oil (ESO) were conducted and showed that it was stable up to temperatures as high as 240–260°C in air-free environment. The solubility and transport characteristics of ESO in poly(vinylchloride) (PVC) were also investigated under various conditions. The absorption study showed that the resin had a void volume of ∼0.3 cm3/g. Furthermore, ESO was found to be sufficiently soluble in the PVC matrix to function as an effective plasticizer, with equilibrium solubility of 72 g/100 g PVC at 80°C and 163 g/100 g PVC at 120°C. The absorption of ESO in PVC grains was a three step process comprising “induction,” “swelling,” and “saturation” periods. Torque rheometer studies showed that higher mixer temperature and/or speed facilitated uptake of plasticizer in PVC and ultimate fusion. Migration studies of plasticized and stabilized PVC compositions showed no change in mass at 40°C, but increasingly greater mass loss as the temperature was raised up to 120°C. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 2013. © 2012 Society of Plastics Engineers