Thermal and rheological properties of L-polylactide/polyethylene glycol/silicate nanocomposites films.J Food Sci. 2010 Oct; 75(8):N97-108.JF
The melt rheology and thermal properties of polylactide (PLA)-based nanocomposite films that were prepared by solvent casting method with L-PLA, polyethylene glycol (PEG), and montmorillonite clay were studied. The neat PLA showed predominantly solid-like behavior (G' > G″) and the complex viscosity (η*) decreased systematically as the temperature increased from 184 to 196 °C. The elastic modulus (G') of PLA/clay blend showed a significant improvement in the magnitude in the melt, while clay concentration was at 6% wt or higher. At similar condition, PEG dramatically reduced dynamic modulii and complex viscosity of PLA/PEG blend as function of concentration. A nanocomposite blend of PLA/PEG/clay (74/20/6) when compared to the neat polymer and PLA/PEG blend exhibited intermediate values of elastic modulus (G') and complex viscosity (η*) with excellent flexibility. Thermal analysis of different clay loading blends indicated that the melting temperature (T(m)) and glass transition temperature (T(g)) remained unaffected irrespective of clay concentration due to immobilization of polymer chain in the clay nanocomposite. PEG incorporation reduced the T(g) and the T(m) of the blends (PLA/PEG and PLA/PEG/clay) significantly, however, crystallinity increased in the similar condition. The transmission electron microscopy (TEM) image of nanocomposite films indicated good compatibility between PLA and PEG, whereas clay was not thoroughly distributed in the PLA matrix and remained as clusters. The percent crystallinity obtained by X-ray was significantly higher than that of differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) data for PLA.