Guangzhou, China -- South China University of Technology claims to have developed a super-toughened polyurethane and poly(lactic acid) (PLA) blend material which overcomes the latter's tendency to be brittle.
The work was carried out at the university's National Engineering Research Center of Novel Equipment for Polymer Processing.
The process involved the dynamic vulcanisation of a polyurethane elastomer prepolymer (PUEP) and PLA - a biocompatible and biodegradable polymer obtained from natural sources.
The university team says its subsequent study of the PLA/PUEP materials "revealed a relatively uniform phase morphology and good interfacial compatibilisation."
A paper on the innovation was published by the American Chemical Society last week.