Biomacromolecules, Vol.19, No.7, 3077-3085, 2018
Isosorbide as Core Component for Tailoring Biobased Unsaturated Polyester Thermosets for a Wide Structure- Property Window
Biobased unsaturated polyester thermosets as potential replacements for petroleum-based thermosets were designed. The target of incorporating rigid units, to yield thermosets with high thermal and mechanical performance, both in the biobased unsaturated polyester (UP) and reactive diluent (RD) while retaining miscibility was successfully achieved. The biobased unsaturated polyester thermosets were prepared by varying the content of isosorbide, 1,4-butanediol, maleic anhydride, and succinic anhydride in combination with the reactive diluent isosorbide-methacrylate (IM). Isosorbide was chosen as the main component in both the UP and the RD to enhance the rigidity of the formed thermosets, to overcome solubility issues commonly associated with biobased UPs and RDs and volatility and toxicity associated with styrene as RD. All UPs had good solubility in the RD and the viscosity of the mixtures was primarily tuned by the feed ratio of isosorbide but also by the amount of maleic anhydride. The flexural modulus and storage modulus were tailorable by altering the monomer composition The fabricated thermosets had superior thermal and mechanical properties compared to most biobased UP thermosets with thermal stability up to about 250 degrees C and a storage modulus at 25 degrees C varying between 0.5 and 3.0 GPa. These values are close to commercial petroleum-based UP thermosets. The designed tailorable biobased thermosets are, thus, promising candidates to replace their petroleum analogs.