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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 23, 2016

Ethylene Methyl Acrylate Copolymer Toughened Poly(lactic acid) Blends: Phase Morphologies, Mechanical and Rheological Properties

L. Q. Xu, Y. Q. Zhao, R. Y. Chen, B. H. Kang and X. F. Peng

Abstract

The ethylene methyl acrylate copolymer (EMA), for the first time, was melt blended with poly(lactic acid) (PLA) by a twin-screw extruder to toughen PLA. The phase morphologies, mechanical, and rheological properties of the PLA/EMA blends with six weight ratios were investigated. The results showed that the addition of EMA improves the toughness of PLA at the expense of the tensile strength, flexural strength and modulus to a certain degree, and results in the transition from brittle fracture of PLA into ductile fracture. The droplet-matrix morphology is observed in the PLA/EMA blends, in which the mean diameter of EMA droplets increases and its distribution widens gradually with increasing the EMA content. The PLA/EMA blends with three weight ratios (90/10, 80/20, and 70/30) display different characteristic linear viscoelastic properties in the low frequency region, which were investigated in terms of their complex viscosity, storage modulus, and Cole-Cole plots. The interfacial tension between the PLA and EMA is calculated using the Palierne model conducted on the 80/20 PLA/EMA blend, and the calculated result is 3.3 mN/m.


*Correspondence address, Mail address: Yong Qing Zhao, The Key Laboratory of Polymer Processing Engineering of Ministry of Education, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou 510640, Guangdong, PRC. E-mail:

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Received: 2015-09-13
Accepted: 2016-02-20
Published Online: 2016-06-23
Published in Print: 2016-07-30

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