Copolymers based on poly(butylene terephthalate) and polycaprolactone-block-polydimethylsiloxane-block-polycaprolactone


A series of novel thermoplastic elastomers, based on poly(butylene terephthalate) (PBT) and polycaprolactone-block-polydimethylsiloxane-b/ock-polycaprolactone (PCL-PDMS-PCL), with various mass fractions, were synthesized through melt polycondensation. In the synthesis of the poly(ester-siloxane)s, the PCL blocks served as a compatibilizer for the non-polar PDMS blocks and the polar comonomers dimethyl terephthalate and 1,4-butanediol. The introduction of PCL-PDMS-PCL soft segments resulted in an improvement of the miscibility of the reaction mixture and therefore in higher molecular weight polymers. The content of hard PBT segments in the polymer chains was varied from 10 to 80 mass%. The degree of crystallinity of the poly(ester-siloxane)s was determined using differential scanning calorimetry and wide-angle X-ray scattering. The introduction of PCL-PDMS-PCL soft segments into the polymer main chains reduced the crystallinity of the hard segments and altered related properties such as melting temperature and storage modulus, and also modified the surface properties. The thermal stability of the poly(ester-siloxane)s was higher than that of the PBT homopolymer. The inclusion of the siloxane prepolymer with terminal PCL into the macromolecular chains increased the molecular weight of the copolymers, the homogeneity of the samples in terms of composition and structure and the thermal stability. It also resulted in mechanical properties which could be tailored

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