Poly(hydroxyalkanoate) elastomers and their graphene nanocomposites

John S F Barrett, Ahmed Abdala, Friedrich Srienc

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Medium-chain-length poly(hydroxyalkanoate)s (PHAmcl) are biodegradable and renewable biopolymers with elastomeric qualities. Here we report on the preparation and characterization of composite materials using thermally reduced graphene (TRG) nanoparticles as filler with three PHA mcl polymers. The matrices vary with respect to chain packing length, capacity for noncovalent bonding with the TRG surface, and the presence of covalent cross-linking. Results show that the addition of up to 2.5 vol % TRG to PHAmcl increases the melting temperature by 1-3 °C, the modulus by 200-590%, and the electrical conductivity by >7 orders of magnitude. Additionally, we use rheology and microscopy to characterize the composites. We discuss our results in light of polymer entanglement theory and the effects of polymer structure, filler loading volume, and the role of graphene-polymer interfacial forces. We extend our discussion by comparing the modulus enhancements of PHAmcl composites to those reported in other studies in which layered carbon nanofillers are combined with structurally related biopolyesters including: polylactide, polylactide-co-polyglycolide, polycaprolactone, and two other PHA copolymers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3926-3941
Number of pages16
JournalMacromolecules
Volume47
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Elastomers
Graphite
Graphene
Nanocomposites
Polymers
Fillers
Composite materials
Polyglycolic Acid
Polycaprolactone
Biopolymers
Rheology
Chain length
Melting point
Microscopic examination
Carbon
Copolymers
Nanoparticles
poly(lactide)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Inorganic Chemistry

Cite this

Poly(hydroxyalkanoate) elastomers and their graphene nanocomposites. / Barrett, John S F; Abdala, Ahmed; Srienc, Friedrich.

In: Macromolecules, Vol. 47, No. 12, 24.06.2014, p. 3926-3941.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Barrett, John S F ; Abdala, Ahmed ; Srienc, Friedrich. / Poly(hydroxyalkanoate) elastomers and their graphene nanocomposites. In: Macromolecules. 2014 ; Vol. 47, No. 12. pp. 3926-3941.
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