Sustainable Triblock Copolymers as Tunable and Degradable Pressure Sensitive Adhesives

Hee Joong Kim, Kailong Jin, Jimin Shim, William Dean, Marc A. Hillmyer, Christopher J. Ellison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Pressure sensitive adhesives (PSAs) are widely used in a variety of applications (e.g., sticky note and packing tape). As for most commercial polymer products, current PSA materials are primarily derived from fossil resources and not readily degradable; this has negative environmental consequences. The design of new PSA materials from sustainable resources that possess competitive adhesion properties and degradability is attractive for addressing sustainability concerns. In this work, we prepared a new aliphatic polyester with a long alkyl substituent, poly(pentadecyl caprolactone) (PPDCL), from cashewnut shell liquid derived lactones by ring opening transesterification polymerization in a controlled fashion. The PPDCL was used as the central block in a symmetric triblock copolymer with poly(lactide) end blocks. A series of ABA triblock copolymers were blended with a renewable tackifier to produce sustainable PSA materials. The resultant PSAs showed competitive adhesion properties with many common commercial adhesives. In addition, the ABA triblock copolymers hydrolytically degraded at 50 °C under acidic conditions suggesting they could be attractive as sustainable and degradable PSA materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12036-12044
Number of pages9
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 17 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Cashewnut shell liquids
  • Degradable polymers
  • Polyesters
  • Pressure sensitive adhesives
  • Sustainable polymers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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