Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 45, Issue 10, pp 2732–2746 | Cite as

Microcellular processing of polylactide–hyperbranched polyester–nanoclay composites

  • Srikanth Pilla
  • Adam Kramschuster
  • Jungjoo Lee
  • Craig Clemons
  • Shaoqin GongEmail author
  • Lih-Sheng TurngEmail author


The effects of addition of hyperbranched polyesters (HBPs) and nanoclay on the material properties of both solid and microcellular polylactide (PLA) produced via a conventional and microcellular injection-molding process, respectively, were investigated. The effects of two different types of HBPs (i.e., Boltorn H2004® and Boltorn H20®) at the same loading level (i.e., 12%), and the same type of HBP at different loading levels (i.e., Boltorn H2004® at 6 and 12%), as well as the simultaneous addition of 12% Boltorn H2004® and 2% Cloisite®30B nanoclay (i.e., HBP–nanoclay) on the thermal and mechanical properties (both static and dynamic), and the cell morphology of the microcellular components were noted. The addition of HBPs and/or HBP with nanoclay decreased the average cell size, and increased the cell density. The stress–strain plots of all the solid and microcellular PLA-H2004 blends showed considerable strain softening and cold drawing, indicating a ductile fracture mode. Among the two HBPs, samples with Boltorn H2004® showed higher strain-at-break and specific toughness compared to Boltorn H20®. Moreover, the sample with Boltorn H2004® and nanoclay exhibited the highest strain-at-break (626% for solid and 406% for microcellular) and specific toughness (405% for solid and 334% for microcellular). Finally, the specific toughness, strain-at-break, and specific strength of microcellular samples were found to be lower than their solid counterparts.


Storage Modulus Dynamic Mechanical Analysis Cold Crystallization Cold Drawing Average Cell Size 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to acknowledge the financial support from National Science Foundation (CMMI-0544729), the USDA Forest Products Laboratory for the use of its equipment to compound the materials and Perstorp Polyols Inc., USA for donating the Boltorn HBPs.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Srikanth Pilla
    • 1
  • Adam Kramschuster
    • 4
  • Jungjoo Lee
    • 4
  • Craig Clemons
    • 5
  • Shaoqin Gong
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Lih-Sheng Turng
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA
  2. 2.Department of MaterialsUniversity of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeMilwaukeeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Mechanical Engineering, Polymer Engineering CenterUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA
  5. 5.Forest Products LaboratoryUSDA Forest ServiceMadisonUSA

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