Tough polymers from renewable sources

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Science  01 Apr 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6281, pp. 49-50
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6281.49-f

Three renewable sources have been combined to create a tough thermoplastic. Zhang et al. used hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) as a semirigid backbone and grafted on rubbery poly(β-methyl-δ-valerolactone) (PMVL) blocks that were then terminated with hard poly-l-lactide (PLLA) blocks. The rubbery block allowed the PLLA blocks to crystallize. These materials were easily processed in the molten state and showed exceptional toughness: They could be strained up to 600% and yet remained transparent up to the point of pulling apart.

ACS Macro Lett. 5, 407 (2016).

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