New study aims at the development of novel waterproof and breathable membranes

Scientists have worked on the synthesis and properties of side chain fluorinated polyurethanes and the evaluation of changes in the microphase separation.

Water drops on an impermeable surface.

To develop marketable new waterproof and breathable membranes, the new study successfully applied a simple synthesis method to combine pentadecafluorooctanoyl chloride and 2-Amino-2-methyl-1,3-propanediol into a novel long-segment side-chain fluorinated chain extender (AMPF), the structure was examined using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.

To promote environmental-friendliness, biodegradable polycaprolactone (PCL) was chosen to supply the soft segment of polyurethane (PU), methylene diphenyl diisocyanate to supply the hard segment, The successful introduction of AMPF into the PCL-based PU enabled the production of AMPF/PUs.

Considerable potential

The results reveal that AMPF/PUs have a high degree of microphase separation, and the heat resistance of AMPF/PUs can be improved by 4–5 %, while the tensile strength can be increased by about 28 MPa with the increase of AMPF content. From the contact angle test, it is known that the increase of AMPF content can convert the hydrophilic polyurethane (77.8 ± 2.7°) into the hydrophobic (95.2 ± 2.1°) polyurethane. Therefore, it is shown that AMPF can not only improve the strength of polyurethane but also provide hydrophobic properties.

According to the scientists, the fluorinated chain extender shows considerable potential for coatings materials and waterproof and breathable fabrics.

The study has been published in Progress in Organic Coatings, Volume 145, August 2020.

Image source: Pixabay.

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