Rheological and thermal properties of polylactide/silicate nanocomposites films.J Food Sci. 2010 Mar; 75(2):N17-24.JF
Polylactide (DL)/polyethylene glycol/silicate nanocomposite blended biodegradable films have been prepared by solvent casting method. Rheological and thermal properties were investigated for both neat amorphous polylactide (PLA-DL form) and blend of montmorillonite (clay) and poly (ethylene glycol) (PEG). Melt rheology of the PLA individually and blends (PLA/clay; PLA/PEG; PLA/PEG/clay) were performed by small amplitude oscillation shear (SAOS) measurement. Individually, PLA showed an improvement in the viscoelastic properties in the temperature range from 180 to 190 degrees C. Incorporation of nanoclay (3% to 9% wt) was attributed by significant improvements in the elastic modulus (G') of PLA/clay blend due to intercalation at higher temperature. Both dynamic modulii of PLA/PEG blend were significantly reduced with addition of 10% PEG. Rheometric measurement could not be conducted while PLA/PEG blends containing 25% PEG. A blend of PLA/PEG/clay (68/23/9) showed liquid-like properties with excellent flexibility. Thermal analysis of different clay loading films indicated that the glass transition temperatures (T(g)) remained unaffected irrespective of clay concentration due to immobilization of polymer chain in the clay nanocomposite. PEG incorporation reduced the T(g) of the blend (PLA/PEG and PLA/PEG/clay) significantly. Both rheological and thermal analysis data supported plasticization and flexibility of the blended films. It is also interesting to study competition between PLA and PEG for the intercalation into the interlayer spacing of the clay. This study indicates that PLA/montmorillonite blend could serve as effective nano-composite for packaging and other applications.