Poly(l-lactide) (PLLA) is a bioabsorbable polymer with high stiffness and strength compared to the other commercially available bioabsorbable polymers. The properties of PLLA can be improved by straining, causing deformation-mediated molecular orientation. PLLA tubes were biaxially strained above their Tg for improvement of their strength, in a two-step process (sequential straining). Mechanical properties and crystal morphology were investigated as a function of processing strain rate and temperature. DSC revealed that a low processing strain rate allows molecular chain relaxation in the direction of strain and the crystallization is suppressed. Faster strain rates on the other hand suppress chain relaxation, and results in crystalline tubes. The mechanical properties are influenced by both processing strain rate and temperature. Low strain rates allow chain relaxation resulting in the lowest strength and stiffness, whereas a larger stiffness and strength is achieved by increasing strain rate and temperature. Isotropic mechanical properties are only observed at high processing strain rates.
- Biomedical applications
- Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)
- Mechanical properties