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Fabrication and Characterization of PLA/PHBV-Chitin Nanocomposites and Their Foams

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of biobased chitin nanowhisker fillers on the thermal, rheological, physical, mechanical and morphological properties of biobased polylactic acid (PLA) and PLA/polyhydroxybutyrate-co-valerate (PHBV) blended nanocomposites as well as the physical, mechanical and morphological properties of porous PLA and PLA/PHBV nanocomposite foams. Solid nanocomposites of PLA, PLA/PHBV and chitin nanowhiskers were manufactured through melt blending while porous nanocomposites foams were fabricated through a batch foaming process with the aid of CO2 as blowing agent. It was found that by incorporating small quantities of chitin nanowhiskers (<2 wt%) the mechanical properties of solid specimens are improved while strength and expandability of the foam can be significantly improved, yielding a homogenously distributed cell morphology with average cell size of 1.5 μm.

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Correspondence to Hani E. Naguib.

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Guan, Q., Naguib, H.E. Fabrication and Characterization of PLA/PHBV-Chitin Nanocomposites and Their Foams. J Polym Environ 22, 119–130 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10924-013-0625-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10924-013-0625-8

Keywords

  • Biobased polymers
  • Chitin
  • Morphology
  • Foams
  • Nanocomposites
  • Nanowhisker
  • Thermophysical properties