Synthesis and Characterization of Degradable Poly(Ethylene Terephthalate-co-Lactic Acid) and its Blends
Because of their respective advantages, the combination of good material properties of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) and degradability of polylactic acid (PLA) is researched as degradable copolymer for packaging and agricultural applications. Poly(ethylene terephthalate-co-lactic acid) (PET-co-PLA) has been synthesized by employing polycondensation of mixtures of dimethyl terephthalate (DMT), lactic acid (LA) and ethylene glycol (EG), using tin(II) octoate as a catalyst. A chain-extending reagent, hexamethylene diisocyanate (HMDI), was then used in the subsequent step to increase the chain length of the copolymer and improve its mechanical properties for suitable applications. The chemical structure and molecular weight of the copolymers were investigated by FTIR, NMR, and DSC. NMR results indicated the incorporation of lactic acid and PET units in the copolymer chain. Additionally, blends of the resulting copolymer with commercially-available PLA were studied. The blend miscibility was examined by DSC and FTIR spectroscopy.
P. Sriromreun et al., "Synthesis and Characterization of Degradable Poly(Ethylene Terephthalate-co-Lactic Acid) and its Blends", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 55-57, pp. 789-792, 2008