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Vol. 25 No. 2
March-April 2003

The Project Place | Information about new, current, and complete IUPAC projects and related initiatives
See also www.iupac.org/projects

Structure and Properties of Polyester Elastomers Composed of Poly(butyleneterephthalate) and Poly(e-caprolactone)

Rubber, which shows very unique properties of low modulus and high extensibility, differently from other solids such as metal and ceramic, is now used in a variety of phases in daily life. To apply rubber to actual uses, vulcanization (i.e., the introduction of crosslinks) is needed. The disadvantage of this process is that rubber is not so high in productivity as well as operability. Recently, thermoplastic elastomers have been used to improve the processability of rubber materials, resulting in a major innovation in the rubber industry as well as in the field of polymer science. These rubber materials, which have no need for vulcanization and can be easily recycled, have attracted great scientific and academic interest. The mechanical performance of the thermoplastic elastomers is strongly affected by the higher-order structure of hard segments of the chains. Typically, the domain is a glassy amorphous phase or a crystalline phase. Among the several types of thermoplastic elastomers, the polyester-type elastomers are specifically interesting because the mechanical properties cover from rubber to plastics, in some cases to engineering plastics, according to the structure of the crystalline domain of hard segments. The aim of this project is to make clear the structure-properties relation of polyester-type elastomers categorized in "engineering elastomers," composed of poly(butyleneterephthalate) as the hard segment and poly(e-caprolactone) or poly(tetramethyleneglycol) as the soft segment. The project is composed of the following six research topics:

1) molecular structure
      - blockiness/sequence distribution
     
- molecular weight/ MW distribution

2) aggregate structure and deformation mechanism
      - POM studies
      - SAXS/WAXD studies
      - SALS studies

3) melt rheology
     - dynamic viscoelasticity
     - stress relaxation
     
- shear/elongational viscosities

4) mechanical properties
     - stress-strain relationship
     
- elastic recovery/hysteresis

5) blends with other polymers

6) degradation

For more information, contact the Task Group Chairman Toshikazu Takigawa <takigawa@ rheogate.polym.kyoto-u.ac.jp>.

www.iupac.org/projects/2002/2002-052-1-400.html


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