Date of Award

6-2011

Degree Name

MS in Polymers and Coatings

Department

Chemistry & Biochemistry

Advisor

Philip Costanzo

Abstract

Polylactic acid (PLA) resins of various molecular weights and molecular weight distributions were synthesized. Linear, narrow molecular weight distribution (MWD) PLA resins were synthesized, as well as resins containing both high molecular weight branched structures and low molecular weight chains and oligomers. Narrow MWD resins were synthesized for use as adhesives for corrugated paperboard and broad MWD resins were synthesized for use as a waterborne coating. PLA resins were dispersed for use as a waterborne coating. Success has been made at forming films utilizing various plasticizers and surfactants as well as polyvinyl alcohol as dispersing agents. A cold dispersion procedure realized the most success, as a 15% PLA waterborne formulation was achieved. Standard test methods show a high degree of grease resistance for the formulated coatings. A hot melt adhesive was also formulated utilizing blends of narrow MWD resins of various molecular weights. The hot melt adhesive showed a high degree of success as failure occurred at the substrate for the materials tested.