We studied a two step process for lactic acid polymerization: in the first step, the lactic acid is condensation polymerized to a low molecular weight hydroxyl terminated prepolymer and then the molecular weight is raised by joining prepolymer chains together using diisoryanate as the chain extender. The resulting polymer is a thermoplastic poly (ester-urethane). The polymer samples were carefully characterized with 13C-NMR, GPC, DSC, and IR. The results indicate that high conversions of lactic acid can be achieved, as well as independent control of the stereostructure, long chain branches, molecular weight average, and molecular weight distribution. Lactic acid is converted into a poly(ester-urethane) with a weight average molecular weight as high as 390.000 g/mol and a glass transition temperature of 53.7°C. The analyzed content of the monomer in the prepolymer is less than 1 mol % and the lactide content 2.4 mol %, while the final poly(ester-urethane) is essentially monomer and lactide free. The mechanical properties of the poly (ester-urethane) are comparable to those of polylactides.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Applied Polymer Science|
|Publication status||Published - 22 Feb 1997|
|MoE publication type||A1 Journal article-refereed|
- lactic acid
- poly(ester urethane)