Single-component poly(epsilon-caprolactone) composites

Gurarslan A. , Shen J., Tonelli A. E.

POLYMER, vol.54, no.21, pp.5747-5753, 2013 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 54 Issue: 21
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.polymer.2013.08.017
  • Title of Journal : POLYMER
  • Page Numbers: pp.5747-5753


Non-covalently bonded crystalline inclusion compounds (ICs) have been formed by threading host cyclic starches, alpha-cyclodextrins (alpha-CDs), onto guest poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL) chains and by co-crystallization of guest PCL and host urea (U). PCLs were coalesced from both ICs by appropriate removal of the alpha-CD and U hosts. When added at low concentrations, PCL coalesced from its alpha-CD IC served as an effective self-nucleating agent for the bulk crystallization of as-received PCL from the melt. Film sandwiches consisting of two layers of as-received (asr) (control), and one layer each of asr and self-nucleated (nuc) (composite) PCLs were produced by melt pressing. A composite sandwich consisting of a film of neat PCL coalesced from its U-IC (c-PCL) and a film of asr-PCL was also melt pressed. DSC showed that both composite films maintain their characteristic structures and properties even after melt-pressing them together. Both single component film sandwiches exhibited strong interfaces, and better mechanical properties than the asr-PCL/asr-PCL control composite sandwiches. These results are similar to those previously obtained on similarly prepared nylon-6 (N-6) sandwich composites made with asr- and nuc-N-6 films with the same levels of crystallinity. However, while the elongation at break was greatly reduced in the asr-N-6/nuc-N-6 composite, asr-/asr-, asr-/c-, and asr-/nuc-, PCL/PCL-composites all showed similarly large elongations at break. The above room temperature and well below room temperature glass-transition temperatures of N-6 and PCL are likely the cause of their widely different elongations at break. Published by Elsevier Ltd.