A poly(L-lactide-co-caprolactone) copolymer, P(LL-co-CL), of composition 75:25 mol% was synthesized via the bulk ring-opening copolymerization of L-lactide and ε-caprolactone using a novel bis[tin(II) monooctoate] diethylene glycol coordination-insertion initiator, OctSn-OCH2CH2OCH2CH2O-SnOct. The P(LL-co-CL) copolymer obtained was characterized by a combination of analytical techniques, namely nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, gel permeation chromatography, dilute-solution viscometry, differential scanning calorimetry, and thermogravimetric analysis. For processing into a monofilament fiber, the copolymer was melt spun with minimal draw to give a largely amorphous and unoriented as-spun fiber. The fiber's oriented semicrystalline morphology, necessary to give the required balance of mechanical properties, was then developed via a sequence of controlled offline hot-drawing and annealing steps. Depending on the final draw ratio, the fibers obtained had tensile strengths in the region of 200–400 MPa.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Polymeric Materials and Polymeric Biomaterials on 8/1/16, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00914037.2015.1119683