Super toughened blends of poly(lactic acid) and poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) injection-molded foams via enhancing interfacial compatibility and cellular structure

Minghui Wu, Qian Ren, Xiuyu Zhu, Wanwan Li, Haibin Luo, Fei Wu, Long Wang, Wenge Zheng, Ping Cui, Xiaosu Yi

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Biodegradable poly(lactic acid) (PLA) foams have drawn increasing attention due to environmental challenges and petroleum crisis. However, it still remains a challenge to prepare PLA foams with fine cellular structures and high impact property, which significantly hinders its widespread application. Herein, phase interface-enhanced PLA/ poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) blend foam, modified by a reactive compatibilizer through a simple reactive extrusion, was produced via a core-back foam injection molding technique. The obtained PLA blend foams displayed an impact strength as high as 49.1 kJ/m2, which was 9.3 and 6.4 times that of the unmodified PLA/PBAT blend and its corresponding foam, respectively. It proved that the interfacial adhesion and cell size both strongly affected the impact strength of injection-molded PLA/PBAT foams, and two major conclusions were proposed. First, enhancing interfacial adhesion could cause a brittle-tough transition of PLA/PBAT foams. Additionally, for foams with high interfacial adhesion, small cell size (<12 μm) was more favorable for the stretching of cells and extension of the whitened region in comparison with big cell size (cell size >60 μm), leading to the drastic toughening of PLA blends. This study provides a feasible, industrially scalable and practical strategy to prepare super toughened and fully biodegradable PLA materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125490
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Volume245
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • PLA/PBAT foam
  • Reactive compatibilization
  • Super-tough

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

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