, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 8-15
Date: 07 Nov 2012

Water Transport in Polylactide and Polylactide/Montmorillonite Composites

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Abstract

Polylactide–montmorillonite composites were fabricated by melt-blending followed by compression molding, and water permeability of the composites was studied by both experiments and theoretical models. The water permeation in composites decreases with increasing concentration of montmorillonite. Specifically, at a concentration of 10 wt% of montmorillonite, the water permeation is 34 % less than in the neat polymer. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS) results show that most of the montmorillonite particles are well-dispersed and randomly exfoliated in the polymer matrix. A fit of theoretical models to the permeation data estimates that montmorillonite platelets are mostly exfoliated in the polymer matrix and oriented randomly, which matches with results from WAXS and TEM.