The High Throughput Investigation of Polyphenolic Couplers In Biodegradable Packaging Materials

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Polymers and High Performance Materials


Our goal is to select and develop stimuli-responsive interfacial coupling materials for nanocomposites that will enhance substrate mechanical properties during use but cause triggered disintegration when exposed to the appropriate aqueous environment. The study could potentially provide the scientific underpinning for the development of an interfacially interacting nanocomposite alloy capable of enhanced biodegradation in the aqueous environment. In the first stage of this study it was shown that quaternary ammonium polymers adsorbed on the faces of the montmorillonite platelets, non-ionic polyacrylamides adsorbed on the faces and edges by hydrogen bonding, and anionic polyelectrolytes, carboxylates and sulfonates, did not adsorb at all on the montmorillonite [R.Y. Lochhead, C.L. McConnell-Boykin, An investigative study of polymer adsorption to smectite clay: polyelectrolytes and sodium montmorillonite, in: R. Krishnamoorti, R. Vaia (Eds.), Polymer Nanocomposites, American Chemical Society, 2002; R.Y. Lochhead, C.L. McConnell-Boykin, C. Haynes, Interaction of hydrophilic polymers with smectite clays, Polymer Materials Science and Engineering. vol. 85, American Chemical Society, 2001, p. 419]. The objective of the second part of the study was to examine model polymers in order to guide research aimed at designing coupling polymers that would cause exfoliation of the clay. Based upon the earlier study, polyvinylamine was chosen as the model on the basis that it is a simple polymer with primary amine groups and the polymer charge density could be modified by simply changing the system pH. The aim of this research was to determine the conditions under which polyvinylamine, and selected derivatives of this polymer, would penetrate the galleries of the stacked montmorillonite platelets. The knowledge gained could be applied to predict systems that would facilitate intercalation or exfoliation of sodium montmorillonite. The investigative approach of the third stage was to create a coupler from the hydrogenbonded coacervate formed between a polyphenolic compound and polyvinylpyrrolidone, and to use this to exfoliate and couple montmorillonite nanoparticles to polycaprolactone. To achieve this, solubility parameter mapping of candidate polymeric couplers, polycaprolactone and target polyphenolic compounds was undertaken. This was used as a screening process in predicting incompatibilities and eliminating unpromising materials that were soluble in the same materials as the polycaprolactone and the polyvinylpyrrolidone. High throughput generation of Hansen-Hoy solubility diagrams coupled with simple techniques like high throughput FT-IR spectroscopy and polarized light microscopy provide a powerful tool for the evaluation of compatibility between formulation components. We were able to quickly evaluate over 110 food-contact-approved phenolic compounds, select the two promising candidates and eliminate all of the rest by evaluating their propensity for compatibility and hydrogen bonding. (c) 2005 Published by Elsevier B.V.

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Applied Surface Science





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