'New tailor-made biopolymers produced from lignocellulosic sugars waste for highly demanding fire-resistant applications'

Reactive extrusion effects on rheological and mechanical properties of poly(lactic acid)/poly[(butylene succinate)‐co‐adipate]/epoxy chain extender blends and clay nanocomposites

Poly(lactic acid) (PLA), a biosource, biodegradable polymer, is not suitable for some important polymer processing operations, such as film blowing and blow molding, due to its low melt strength. Moreover, while it has high tensile modulus and strength in the solid state, it exhibits low ductility. The present work is an extension of our earlier effort to improve the processability and mechanical properties of PLA by blending with poly[(butylene succinate)‐co‐adipate)] (PBSA), a biodegradable polymer with lower glass transition temperature. We evaluate the influences of incorporation of an epoxy chain extender and nanoclay on the properties of the blend. Since earlier work was conducted in a batch mixer, the influence of melt processing in the twin screw extruder and the differences between products obtained in the extruder and the batch mixer are evaluated and explained. Based on earlier work, the following PLA/PBSA blend ratios of 90:10, 80:20 and 70:30 were selected. All the samples were prepared in the twin‐screw extruder at two different screw speeds (50 and 150 rpm), to evaluate the effects of residence time and shear rates. The morphology and structure of the blends were examined using field emission scanning electron microscopy. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and X‐ray diffraction (XRD) were used to evaluate the levels of intercalation and exfoliation in the nanocomposites. The chain extension reaction was evaluated using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and other techniques. Rheological properties (dynamic oscillatory shear and elongational viscosity measurements) and mechanical characteristics of the pure components, blends, and nanocomposites were studied and discussed in light of the composition and morphology of the blends and the nanocomposites. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2015, 132, 42664.

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» Author: Amin Mirzadeh1, Hesam Ghasemi2, Fatma Mahrous1 andMusa R. Kamal1,*

» Reference: Journal of Applied Polymer ScienceSpecial Issue: Manufacturing of Advanced Biodegradable Polymeric ComponentsVolume 132, Issue 48, December 20, 2015

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This project has received funding from the European Unionís Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration