Thursday, June 26, 2008 - 10:55 AM
South American AB (Capital Hilton)

Synthesis and Properties of a New Seed Oil-Based Thermoplastic

Jerry E. White, Jim D. Earls, John W. Sherman, Leonardo C. Lopez, and Marvin L. Dettloff. The Dow Chemical Company, Freeport, TX

Oxidation of undecylenic acid, a derivative of castor oil, affords 10,11-epoxyundecanoic acid which in the presence of phosphonium halide can undergo an A-B step-growth polymerization via nucleophilic ring opening of the epoxy group by the carboxylic acid moiety to yield a semi-crystalline (Tm = 97 C), hydroxy-functionalized aliphatic polyester. This new thermoplastic exhibits yield stress, break stress and elongation (9.7 MPa, 24.1 MPa and 450%) similar to those of low density polyethylene. However, in contrast to the behavior of the polyolefin and owing to the pendent hydroxy moieties populating the polymer backbone, films of the polyester adhere strongly to metallic substrates and have moderately good barrier to oxygen. In addition to a detailed discussion of the physical and thermal properties of the polyester, the mechanism of the formation and consequent molecular weight distribution of this new polymer will be described.