eco-friendly, PVC, alternative plasticizer, oligo(epsilon-caprolactone)
Phthalates such as DEHP are the most commonly used plasticizers in flexible PVC. According to the information recently reported, the phthalates still hold almost 90% of the world’s plasticizer market. There have been, however, many studied on toxicity as an endocrine disruptor of DEHP, which migrated from flexible PVC, on human health. Even though many new plasticizers have been developed to solve these problems, they still have some problems which are migration of low molecular weight plasticizers, deterioration of physicochemical properties of flexible PVC and insufficiency of flexibility to PVC. For manufacture of an eco-friendly PVC, oligo(-caprolactone) (OCL) was used because of its non-toxicity and very high miscibility with PVC. A series of nanobrush structured OCL (nb-OCL) were polymerized, having many brush numbers and short brush lengths for excellent molecular mobility with a properly high molecular weight to prevent migration from PVC. After polymerization of nb-OCLs, the flexible PVC sheets were prepared for performance of plasticization efficiency and migration tests. According to these results indicate that nb-OCLs can be used as alternative plasticizers to achieve sufficiency of the flexibility to PVC and remove the potential health risk from plasticizer migration during end use.