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Polylactic acid and its blends with petroleum-based resins: Effects of reprocessing and recycling on properties
RISE, SP – Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut.
RISE, SP – Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut, SP Kemi Material och Ytor, Polymer och fiber.
RISE, SP – Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut, SP Kemi Material och Ytor, Polymer och fiber.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7724-2329
2016 (English)In: Journal of Applied Polymer Science, ISSN 0021-8995, E-ISSN 1097-4628, Vol. 133, no 36, article id 43916Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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Abstract [en]

Environmental and economic reasons make the use of bioplastics and biocomposites increasingly coveted in sectors other than packaging. Recycling of all wasted or rejected durable plastics is highly desired and biobased plastics are no exception. Therefore, the investigation of pre- and post-consumer recycling of products made from biobased plastics is of great interest. Polylactic acid (PLA) and its blends have been chosen for this study because it is an excellent representative of mass-produced bioplastics for industrial applications. As part of the "Sustainable Recycling of 'Green' Plastics" project, the current study addresses the durability issues related to the reprocessing and post-consumer recycling of a PLA virgin resin and two commercially available blends of PLA namely one with polycarbonate (PC) and one with polyethylene (PE). The materials were investigated using methods that simulate post-processing and post-consumer recycling. Accelerated ageing was performed at elevated temperature and humidity to simulate the usage period of the materials. The materials were analyzed using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), and their mechanical strength was evaluated by tensile and impact testing. The flow properties of the materials were characterized by the melt flow index (MFI). Multiple processing of pure PLA did not affect the impact strength or the glass transition temperature (Tg), but caused crystallization and increase in the MFI, indicating that degradation occurred during processing. DSC thermograms of the blends revealed that the components in the blends were not miscible. Multiple processing of the blends did not significantly affect the elastic modulus of the materials, but affected the elongation at break. The results indicated that multiple processing of the PLA/HDPE blend caused increased dispersion and thus increased elongation at break, while the dominating mechanism in the PLA/PC blend was degradation that caused a decrease in elongation at break. Post-consumer recycling of the PLA/PC blend was simulated and the results clearly showed that ageing corresponding to one year of use caused a significant degradation of PLA. Pure PLA was severely degraded after only one ageing cycle. Although the PLA/PC blend showed some improved mechanical properties and resistance to degradation compared with pure PLA, one ageing cycle still caused a severe degradation of the PLA and even the PC was degraded as indicated by the formation of small amounts of bisphenol A.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2016. Vol. 133, no 36, article id 43916
Keywords [en]
biopolymers and renewable polymers, blends, degradation, properties and characterization, recycling
National Category
Polymer Chemistry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-333DOI: 10.1002/app.43916Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84973121333OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-333DiVA, id: diva2:939404
Note

Note; For authors Jakubowicz, I., Enebro, J.; correct department within SP Technical Research Institutes of Sweden is Chemistry, Materials and Surfaces.

Available from: 2016-06-19 Created: 2016-06-17 Last updated: 2019-06-17Bibliographically approved

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