This study reports the effects of: the molecular weight ratio of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL) in blends containing polymer of high (50 000 g mol-1) and low (4000 g mol-1) molecular weight; the concentration (0, 1, and 5 wt-%) of poly(vinyl pyrrolidone/iodine) (PVP/I); and storage at 30°C and 75% relative humidity; on the thermomechanical properties of films prepared by solvent evaporation from solutions containing both PCL and PVP/I. The tensile properties were found to be statistically dependent on the molecular weight ratio of PCL but not on the concentration of PVP/I. The reductions in tensile strength and elongation at break associated with increasing amounts of low molecular weight PCL were attributed to a reduction in the concentration of chain entanglements. No changes were observed in viscoelastic properties or the glass transition temperature. Following storage there were no changes in the tensile strength, glass transition temperature, or viscoelastic properties of the films; however, significant reductions in elongation at break were observed. It is suggested that this is due to hydrolytic chain scission of amorphous PCL. Inclusion of 5 wt-% PVP/I increased this process in films containing 100 : 0 and 80 : 20 high/low molecular weight PCL (but not 60 : 40), but the extent of this was small. This study highlighted significant aging properties of PCL in a moist atmosphere. Consequently, it is recommended that suitable packaging materials should be employed to control the exposure of PCL films to water during storage.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Plastics, Rubber and Composites Processing and Applications|
|Publication status||Published - 01 Dec 2000|
ASJC Scopus subject areas