Compatibilizing Effects of Poly(ethylene Glycol) on PLA/Cellulose Nanowhiskers Composites
One best way to harness the petroleum-based solid wastes is to develop biodegradable materials. Among which, PLA is the most important one, because it is made from renewable plant. But Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) is brittle and low impact resistance. The cellulose nanowhiskers are about 5-40 nm in diameter and the length can be from 100 nm to several micrometers depending on the source of cellulose and the processing technology. The cellulose nanowhiskers can act as efficient reinforcement because of the high aspect ratios, important surface areas and high modulus. The celluloses nanowhiskers are hydrophilic because of the abundant exposed hydroxyl (-OH) groups and PLA is hydrophobic. So we added the low molecular weight polymeric-poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG) to improve compatibility between PLA matrix and the cellulose nanowhiskers. The PLA/cellulose nanowhiskers composites were prepared by casting solution. The tensile strength and the elongation rate of the composites improved 56.7% and 48% comparing with the PLA/cellulose whiskers composites. The thermo gravimetric analysis indicated that the thermal decomposition of PLA/cellulose nanowhiskers/PEG composites include only one stage. The pictures of SEM showed the fracture morphology of the different kind of the composites. The structure of the PLA/cellulose nanowhiskers/PEG composites were characterized by AFM, which showed that the cellulose nanowhiskers dispersed evenly in the PLA matrix.
Yi Tan and Dongying Ju
P. Qu et al., "Compatibilizing Effects of Poly(ethylene Glycol) on PLA/Cellulose Nanowhiskers Composites", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 675-677, pp. 395-398, 2011