Macromolecular bioscience

Uniaxial drawing of poly[(R)-3-hydroxybutyrate]/cellulose acetate butyrate blends and their orientation behavior.

PMID 16136569


Miscible blends of PHB and CAB were prepared by the solvent-casting method with various blend compositions, and their orientation behavior was investigated during uniaxial drawing. X-ray analysis revealed that the orientation of the crystallizable PHB component in the drawn PHB/CAB blends was changed from c-axis-orientation to a-axis-orientation with increasing CAB content. The a-axis-orientation was a result from the a-axis-oriented crystal growth caused by the intramolecular nucleation and the confined crystal growth. For quantitative assessment of the chain orientation, the Hermans orientation functions of the two respective components were obtained from the polarized FT-IR measurements. The orientation function of pure PHB stretched to 5 times of its initial length was approximately 0.8. However the value decreased rapidly with increasing CAB content, and it turned to a negative value from 30 wt.-% CAB content. This indicates that the PHB chains were aligned perpendicular to the drawing direction. On the contrary, the value of the CAB component remained almost unchanged at about 0.1 regardless of the blend composition and the annealing time, indicating that the CAB chains were constantly oriented parallel to the drawing direction without any chain relaxation. In addition, SAXS analysis suggested that the lamellar stacking direction also changed from parallel to perpendicular in the stretching direction with increasing CAB content.