Melt rheological investigation of polylactide-nanographite platelets biopolymer composites

Esmaeil Narimissa, Rahul K. Gupta*, Nhol Kao, Hyoung J. Choi, Margaret Jollands, Sati N. Bhattacharya

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study is an analytical investigation of processability of biopolymer-carbon based nanofiller composites primarily through rheological investigation of samples. The composites were fabricated via dry mixing and melt-blending of biodegradable polylactide (PLA) and nanographite platelets (NGP) in a Brabender twin screw extruder. A range of different nanofiller contents (1, 3, 5, 7, and 10 wt %) were studied for NGP containing composites. The morphology was studied with X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy techniques and showed poor dispersion, with agglomerates, tactoids, and exfoliated layers present. Mechanical properties showed an optimum at 3 wt % filler. Results showed that the composites exhibited higher elastic and viscous moduli than neat PLA. The rheological percolation threshold predicted by changes in slope (α) as well as liquid-solid transition theory of samples was found around 3 wt % through the change from liquid-like behavior to pseudo-solid-like behavior at terminal region during dynamic oscillatory measurements. NGP nanofillers were found to enhance the viscoelastic and mechanical properties of PLA at low concentrations; however, an efficient dispersion of nanofillers within polymer by melt intercalation method of mixing was not achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-188
Number of pages14
JournalPolymer Engineering and Science
Volume54
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

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