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TECHNICAL ARTICLE
Graphene oxide induced crystallization and hydrolytic degradation of poly(butylene succinate)

Publication date: January 2016
Source:Polymer Degradation and Stability, Volume 123

Author(s): Xue-chong Du, Xian-ling Xu, Xiao-hao Liu, Jing-hui Yang, Yong Wang, Xiao-ling Gao

In this work, different contents of graphene oxide (GO) were introduced into poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) to study the effects of GO on crystallization of PBS matrix and the resultant hydrolytic degradation behaviors of the PBS/GO composites. The initial crystalline structures of PBS in the composites were investigated using a polarized optical microscope (POM), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and a wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD). The results demonstrated that GO showed nucleation effect for the crystallization of PBS matrix. However, high content of GO also restricted the growth of crystallite, resulting in the decrease of PBS crystallinity and the reduction of crystal size. The hydrophilicity of sample was evaluated by measuring the contact angle of water on the sample surface. The results demonstrated that the presence of GO greatly enhanced the hydrophilicity of the sample. The hydrolytic degradation behavior of sample in alkaline solution was investigated at 37 °C. The results showed that the hydrolytic degradation ability of PBS was greatly enhanced by adding GO. The more the GO in the composites, the higher the hydrolytic degradation ability was. The increased hydrophilicity that enhanced the wettability of sample surface by water, the decreased crystallinity of PBS matrix, and the presence of the defects in the composite, e. g. at the interface between the PBS matrix and GO particles, mainly contributed to the largely enhanced hydrolytic degradation ability of PBS. The microstructure changes during the hydrolytic degradation process were also analyzed. This work provided an alternative way to accelerate the hydrolytic degradation of PBS.
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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration