Cellulose-based thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) have attracted considerable attention because of their rigid backbone, good mechanical properties, renewable nature and abundance. In the present study, sustainable TPEs based on ethyl cellulose (EC), fatty acid and furfural were generated by the combination of ATRP and ''click chemistry''. To fabricate sustainable TPEs with higher toughness, a range of polymers, including mono random-copolymer poly(tetrahydrofurfuryl methacrylate-co-lauryl methacrylate) (P(THFMA-co-LMA), dual polymer side chains PTHFMA and PLMA, and mono-block copolymer PTHFMA-b-PLMA, were designed as side chains to fabricate EC brush copolymers with random, dual or block side chain architectures using the ''grafting from'' and ''grafting onto'' methods. The multi-armed structures, chemical compositions and phase separation of these EC brush copolymers were confirmed by FT-IR, 1H NMR, GPC, DSC, TEM and SEM. Overall, three types of EC brush copolymers all exhibited the desired mechanical properties of TPEs. In addition, the EC brush copolymers with dual/block side chain architectures showed higher tensile strength than that of the random polymers with similar compositions.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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