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The development of copolymers is a promising approach for combining the favorable properties of two polymers and obtaining new properties of the combination. In this work, graft copolymers of polyisobutylene (PIB) and polycaprolactone (PCL) or poly(D,L-lactide) (PDLLA) were synthesized and studied. Amine terminated polyesters were synthesized and were grafted onto an activated PIB backbone synthesized from butyl rubber, a copolymer of isobutylene and 2 mol % isoprene. The polyester content was tuned from 15 to 44 wt % by varying the molar mass of the polyester blocks and the number of molar equivalents used in the grafting reaction. The graft copolymers with higher polyester content underwent nanoscale phase separation, as demonstrated by differential scanning calorimetry and atomic force microscopy imaging. This was found to provide enhanced mechanical properties such as increased tensile strength and Young’s modulus relative to the starting rubber or physical blends. Despite the significant polyester content of the graft copolymers and the susceptibility of the polyesters to degradation, the graft copolymers underwent negligible mass loss in 5 M NaOH over a period of 8 weeks. These results suggest that polyesters can be incorporated into PIB to tune and enhance its properties, while maintaining high chemical stability.
"This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Turowec, B.A. & Gillies, E.R. (2017). Synthesis, properties, and degradation of polyisobutylene-polyester graft copolymers. Polymer International, 66(1), 42-51, which has been published in final form athttps://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1002/pi.5250. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions."