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Recyclable and Mechanically Robust Palm Oil-Derived Epoxy Resins with Reconfigurable Shape-Memory Properties

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posted on 2020-03-26, 15:48 authored by Shiling Mu, Yaqiong Zhang, Jiangjun Zhou, Baoxia Wang, Zhongkai Wang
The development of sustainable epoxy resins from renewable biomass is gaining more and more attention. In most cases, chemically cross-linked biomass-derived epoxy resins are nonrecyclable. Here, mechanically strong and recyclable epoxy resins from palm oil that possess reconfigurable shape memory properties are developed. By converting palm oil-based methyl methacrylate monomers into epoxy monomers, high molecular weight palm oil-based epoxy polymers (EP) are prepared with high conversion. After being cured with citric acid (CA) without using any catalyst, palm oil-based epoxy resins (EP-CA) cross-linked with β-hydroxyl ester groups are obtained. The EP-CA can rearrange the chemical network topology through transesterification reactions, which endows the materials with the ability to be recycled and reshaped. The EP-CA prepared via the epoxy polymer approach contains a well-defined network structure, resulting in remarkable mechanical properties. Moreover, the dynamic network structure allows the EP-CA samples to possess reconfigurable shape memory properties.

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