Environmentally degradable polyesters offer an interesting perspective for a vast number of applications. However, current front-runners like poly(lactide), poly(glycolide) and poly(ε-caprolactone) are either semi-crystalline excluding applications for which optical transparency is desired, or exhibit low glass transition temperatures (T g) resulting in poor dimensional stability at temperatures exceeding the T g. In the present work, copolymers of lactide and mandelide are explored as a method to obtain amorphous, environmentally degradable polyesters with a glass transition temperature exceeding 50 °C. Mandelide and lactide can be successfully copolymerised and the resulting copolymers revealed rising T g values upon increasing the mandelide content. The obtained molecular weights were superior to the molecular weights previously obtained via polycondensation, but were limited by the epimerisation of the mandelide monomer, which passes through an enolic intermediate that is able to initiate the polymerisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-23
Number of pages8
JournalReactive and Functional Polymers
Volume128
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

    Research areas

  • Glass transition temperature, Lactide, Mandelide, Polyester, Ring opening polymerisation

ID: 38410526