Unique crystallization behavior of multi-walled carbon nanotube filled poly(lactic acid)
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Although poly(lactic acid) (PLA) possesses many desirable properties such as miscible, reproducible, nontoxic, and biodegradable properties, extremely slow crystallization rate is a weak point in comparison with other commercial thermoplastics. Addition of nucleating agents can be a good method to increase the overall crystallization rate and multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) is generally known as a good nucleating agent as well as reinforcement. MWCNT reinforced PLA nanocomposites were prepared by melt blending and the unique nucleation and crystallization behaviors of pure PLA and MWCNT/PLA nanocomposites were investigated. Slow homogeneous nucleation and crystallization behavior of the pure PLA and fast heterogeneous crystallization behavior of MWCNT/PLA nanocomposites were observed. Crystallization behavior of MWCNT/PLA nanocomposites was irrespective of cooling rate and the peculiar behavior was due to fast heterogeneous crystallization caused by the nucleating effect of MWCNT and fast PLA chain mobility.
KeywordsCarbon nanotube Crystallization Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) Wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD)
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