(263c) Advancing Multiscale Modeling Prediction of Mechanical Properties of Polyhydroxyalkanoates
Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), a group of newly developed, commercially available biopolymers, and their composites have the potential to replace petroleum-based amorphous and semicrystalline polymers currently in use for packaging, adhesives, and coating applications and to have significant advantages in medical applications such as tissue engineering. As with all polymeric materials, the properties of PHAs result from the interplay between the molecular structure of polymer chains, processing conditions and the final morphology on multiple length scales. By employing the continuous scattering spectrum constructed from light and X-ray scattering data, we are investigating the complex relationship between processing conditions such as cooling rates, structural and morphological changes on the atomistic scale to micro-scale (from about 0.1 nm to 50 micrometers), and the thermomechanical properties of these biopolymers. We will demonstrate how these investigations are providing the necessary structural and morphological information for the discovery of multiscale models that predict mechanical properties of PHAs.
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