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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 14, 2021

The Effect of the Compounding Procedure on the Morphology and Mechanical Properties of PLA/PBAT-Based Nanocomposites

P. Saiprasit and A. K. Schlarb

Abstract

Poly(lactic acid) (PLA)/poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT)-based nanocomposites filled with 1 vol.% silicon dioxide nanoparticles (nano-SiO2) were prepared using a co-rotating twin-screw extruder and injection molding. The nanocomposites with various blending sequences were investigated using PLA-based and PBAT-based nanocomposite masterbatches. Morphology of the PLA/PBAT/SiO2 nanocomposites was examined using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and a focused ion beam (FIB) SEM. It is found that the nano-SiO2 locates in the original polymer phase, in which it is firstly incorporated in the masterbatch process, as well as at the interface between the two polymers. However, as the residence time in the extrusion process increases, the nanoparticles migrate from the original phase to the interface, governed by the thermodynamic driving force. The best optimization of mechanical properties is achieved by using the PBAT-based masterbatches with a one-step process or short residence time. The processing history, therefore, has a tremendous impact on the final properties of the resulting materials.


* Mail address: Alois K. Schlarb, Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Lehrstuhl für Verbundwerkstoffe, Postfach 30 49, 67663 Kaiserslautern, Germany


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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to acknowledge the support from BASF SE (Dr. N. Effen) (Ludwigshafen, Germany) for providing the materials. We also would like to thank Dr. S. Wolff and Dr. T. Löber (Nano Structuring Center (NSC), Technische Universität Kaiserslautern) for performing the SEM and FIB-SEM investigations, respectively.

Received: 2020-08-25
Accepted: 2020-12-09
Published Online: 2021-05-14
Published in Print: 2021-05-26

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston, Germany

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