Impact of thermal processing or solvent casting upon crystallization of PLA nanocellulose and/or nanoclay composites

J. Trifol, M. van Drongelen, F. Clegg, D. Plackett, P. Szabo, A. E. Daugaard*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Here, we present how processing (solvent casting or isothermal crystallization) impacts crystallinity of poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and its nanocomposites (PLA/1 wt % cellulose nanofibers (CNFs), PLA/1 wt % nanoclay (C30B) or PLA/1 wt % CNF/1 wt % C30B. Polarized optical microscopy demonstrated a heterogeneous nucleation process during isothermal crystallization leading to smaller homogeneously distributed spherulites. With solvent casting, no effect on morphology was observed with respect to the nanoparticles, but an increased spherulite size was observed at higher temperatures. This fact raises significant concerns regarding the suitability of solvent casting as a lab-scale procedure to investigate materials. Additionally, combining the reinforcing agents, CNF, and C30B, did not increase nucleation rate, in contrast with the general tendency, where the incorporation of both particles led to improved properties (e.g., thermomechanical and barrier properties). However, a combination of C30B and CNF did lead to an overall increase in the rigid amorphous fraction and a reduced mobile amorphous fraction. © 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2019, 136, 47486.
Original languageEnglish
Article number47486
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Volume136
Issue number20
Number of pages14
ISSN0021-8995
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Biopolymers and renewable polymers, crystallization, nanoparticles, nanowires, nanocrystals, synthesis and processing techniques
  • Crystallization
  • Nanoparticles
  • Nanowires
  • Nanocrystals
  • Synthesis and processing techniques

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