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.
|Journal||International Journal of Biological Macromolecules|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2023|
- PLA/PBAT foam
- Reactive compatibilization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Structural Biology
- Molecular Biology