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