Biodegradable nanocomposite for the packaging sector: preparation and characterization
Keywords:nanocomposites, polylactic acid, montmorillonite, essential work of fracture
In this work, the effect of processing, reinforcing agent content and deageing treatment on the fracture behaviour of polylactic acid sheets reinforced with organomodified nanoclay was assessed. The structure of the nanocomposites was studied by gel permeation chromatography, transmission electron microscopy and focused ion beam milling and scanning electron microscopy. The thermal and fracture behaviours have been assessed by differential scanning calorimetry and the essential work of fracture (EWF) approach respectively. Processing caused the degradation of PLA chains; phenomena that was enhanced by the presence of montmorillonite. The de-aging treatment completely erased the ageing state of the sheets, promoting a brittle-ductile transition and enabling the application of the EWF. The fracture toughness of aged PLA is considerably enhanced by nanoclay reinforcement and/or application of a deaging treatment.
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