An attempt has been made to investigate the effect of the block length of hydrophilic segments on the structure and mass transfer properties of segmented polyurethane (HSPU). Three different block lengths of hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) segments were used, namely PEG-200, PEG-2000 and PEG-3400, where the numbers indicate the molecular weight of the PEG in g mol-1. The HSPU were characterized using Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) and tensile testing. Mass transfer properties were measured by sorption and water vapour flux (WVF) measurements. The control sample polyurethanes without PEG and a sample with PEG-200 showed amorphous structure and an unclear phase separation as detected by WAXD, DSC and DMTA. There is evidence that the introduction of PEG blocks into the polyurethane matrix aids soft-segment crystallization. The percentage crystallinity of soft segments was the highest with PEG-2000 and an increase of PEG block length to 3400 g mol-1 resulted in a decrease in crystallinity. Mechanically, polyurethane without PEG is tough while percentage strain at maximum load increased with increasing block length of PEG. In addition, sorption and WVF increased linearly with increasing PEG block length and with temperature. The permeability of such HSPUs is a function of temperature and showed a good fit to an Arrhenius form.
- Hydrophilic segmented polyurethane
- Mass transfer
- Phase separation
- Poly(ethylene glycol) block length
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Polymers and Plastics