Journal of Polymers and the Environment

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 654–660 | Cite as

Effect of the Recycling and Annealing on the Mechanical and Fracture Properties of Poly(Lactic Acid)

  • L. Nascimento
  • J. Gamez-PerezEmail author
  • O. O. Santana
  • J. I. Velasco
  • M. Ll. Maspoch
  • E. Franco-Urquiza


The aim of this work is to evaluate the use of Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) industrial waste as a source of raw material for certain applications, as well as to understand the effects of the annealing on the fracture behavior of PLA. PLA waste has been simulated by an initial step of extrusion in a single screw extruder and pelletizing. Specimens of virgin and reprocessed PLA were obtained by injection molding. An annealing treatment capable of increasing the percentage of crystallinity (determined by differential scanning calorimetry) was also analyzed in reprocessed and non reprocessed specimens. The fracture behavior was studied at slow and high testing speed, applying the linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) on single edge notched bend (SENB) specimens. This study revealed that the fracture toughness of the reprocessed PLA was basically the same that the virgin PLA and also that the increase in the crystalline fraction produced an improvement on the fracture toughness, at slow loading rate.


Biodegradable polymers Linear elastic fracture mechanics (LEFM) Reprocessing Crystallinity 



This work was part of the project MAT2007-62450, supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Spanish Government.


  1. 1.
    Ikada Y, Tsuji H (2000) Macromol Rapid Commun 21:117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Garlotta D (2001) J Polym Environ 9:63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lim LT, Auras R, Rubino M (2008) Prog Polym Sci 33:820CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ramakrishna S, Mayer J, Wintermantel E, Leong KW (2001) Compos Sci Technol 61:1189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Auras R, Harte B, Selke S (2004) Macromol Biosci 4:835CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Briassoulis D (2004) J Polym Environ 12:65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Sodergard A, Stolt M (2002) Prog Polym Sci 27:1123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Perego G, Cella GD, Bastioli C (1996) J Appl Polym Sci 59:37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jacobsen S, Fritz HG (1999) Polym Eng Sci 39:1303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Park SD, Todo M, Arakawa K (2004) J Mater Sci 39:1113CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Arakawa K, Mada T, Park SD, Todo M (2006) Polym Test 25:628CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Carrasco F, Pagès P, Gamez-Perez J, Santana OO, Maspoch ML (2010) Polym Degrad Stabil 95:116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    NatureWorks® PLA Polymer 2002D—data sheet (2005) Natureworks LLC, USAGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Grijpma DW, Pennings AJ (1994) Macromol Chem Phys 195:1633CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kawai T, Rahman N, Matsuba G, Nishida K, Kanaya T, Nakano M, Okamoto H, Kawada J, Usuki A, Honma N, Nakajima K, Matsuda M (2007) Macromolecules 40:9463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Pan PJ, Zhu B, Inoue Y (2007) Macromolecules 40:9664CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Fischer EW, Sterzel HJ, Wegner G (1973) Kolloid-Zeitschrift Zeitschrift Fur Polymere 251:980CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Williams JG (2001) In: Moore DR, Pavan A, Williams JG (eds) Fracture Mechanics testing methods for polymers, adhesives and composites. Elsevier Science Ltd., Oxford, pp 11–26Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pavan A (2001) In: Moore DR, Pavan A, Williams JG (eds) Fracture Mechanics testing methods for polymers, adhesives and composites. Elsevier Science Ltd., Oxford, pp 27–58Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lawton EL (1985) Polym Eng Sci 25:348CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kinloch AJ, Young RJ (1983) Fracture behaviour of polymers. Applied Science, LondonGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Renouf-Glauser AC, Rose J, Farrar DF, Cameron RE (2005) Biomaterials 26:5771CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Karger-Kocsis J (1999) In: Cunha AM, Fakirov S (eds) Structure development during polymer processing. Kluwer Academic, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Sanchez-Soto M, Gordillo A, Maspoch ML, Velasco JI, Santana OO, Martinez AB (2002) Polym Bull 47:587CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Nascimento
    • 1
  • J. Gamez-Perez
    • 1
    Email author
  • O. O. Santana
    • 1
  • J. I. Velasco
    • 1
  • M. Ll. Maspoch
    • 1
  • E. Franco-Urquiza
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre Català de Plàstic—Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)TerrassaSpain

Personalised recommendations