The thermal properties of polymers routinely define their value for specific applications making them a target for control and enhancement.
For example, plastics for aerosol packaging must meet material resistance to temperature criteria while deformation and shrinkage characteristics at elevated temperature are critical for candidates for hot fill packaging applications.Thermal properties that can be controlled to meet specific requirements include heat deflection or distortion temperature and coefficient of linear thermal expansion but often, for amorphous or semi-crystalline polymers it is glass transition temperature, Tg, that holds the key. The Tg of a polymer defines the temperature above which the thermal properties of the material begin to change and more “rubbery” behavior establishes; below their Tg, polymers are more glass-like.
High purity isosorbide is a commercially available bio-based diol (POLYSORB®, Roquette, France) with a very low carbon footprint that can be incorporated in polymers to improve thermal properties, notably to increase Tg, alongside environmental impact.
The availability of high purity isosorbide in industrial quantities presents opportunities to address key limitations with established polymers, such as the thermal stability of PET, and more generally to tailor thermal properties to more closely match specific applications. The examples presented here illustrate the potential for POLYSORB® isosorbide to deliver polymers that answer more effectively to industrial requirements while at the same time reducing environmental impacts.