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Thermoplastic polyurethanes from renewable resources: effect of soft segment chemical structure and molecular weight on morphology and final properties

Authors

  • Ainara Saralegi,

    1. Group ‘Materials + Technologies’, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Polytechnic School, University of the Basque Country, Pza Europa 1, 20018 Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
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  • Lorena Rueda,

    1. Group ‘Materials + Technologies’, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Polytechnic School, University of the Basque Country, Pza Europa 1, 20018 Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
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  • Borja Fernández-d'Arlas,

    1. Group ‘Materials + Technologies’, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Polytechnic School, University of the Basque Country, Pza Europa 1, 20018 Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
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  • Iñaki Mondragon,

    1. Group ‘Materials + Technologies’, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Polytechnic School, University of the Basque Country, Pza Europa 1, 20018 Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
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  • Arantxa Eceiza,

    1. Group ‘Materials + Technologies’, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Polytechnic School, University of the Basque Country, Pza Europa 1, 20018 Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
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  • Mª Angeles Corcuera

    Corresponding author
    1. Group ‘Materials + Technologies’, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Polytechnic School, University of the Basque Country, Pza Europa 1, 20018 Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
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Ma Angeles Corcuera, Group ‘Materials + Technologies’, Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Polytechnic School, University of the Basque Country, Pza Europa 1, 20018 Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain. E-mail: marian.corcuera@ehu.es

Abstract

The effect of soft segment molecular weight and chemical structure on the morphology and final properties of segmented thermoplastic polyurethanes containing various hard segment contents has been investigated from the viewpoint of the degree of microphase separation. Vegetable oil-based polyesters and corn sugar-based chain extender have been used as renewable resources. The synthesis has been carried out in bulk without catalyst using a two-step polymerization process. Physicochemical, thermal and mechanical properties, and also morphology, have been studied using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, dynamic mechanical analysis, atomic force microscopy, X-ray diffraction and mechanical testing. Chemical structure and molecular weight of polyols strongly affect the properties of the synthesized segmented thermoplastic polyurethanes. An increase in soft segment molecular weight leads to an increase of the degree of soft segment crystallinity and microphase separation, thus giving enhanced mechanical properties and higher thermal stability. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry

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