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Influences of three different ethylene copolymers on the toughness and other properties of polylactide

2016-01-01
MEYVA, YELDA
Kaynak, Cevdet
The aim of this study was to investigate influences of three different ethylene copolymers on the toughness and other properties of very brittle biopolymer PLA (polylactide). For this aim, PLA was melt blended by twin-screw extruder with various amounts of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), ethylene-methyl-acrylate (EMA) and ethylene-n-butyl acrylate-glycidyl-methacrylate (EBA-GMA). SEM and DSC analyses indicated that these ethylene copolymers were thermodynamically immiscible with phase separation in the form of 1-5 mu m sized round domains in the PLA matrix. Rubber toughening mechanisms of EVA, EMA and EBA-GMA were very effective to improve ductility and toughness of PLA significantly. Depending on the type and content of the ethylene copolymers, the highest increases in % elongation at break, Charpy impact toughness and G(IC) fracture toughness values of PLA were as much as 160, 320 and 158%, respectively. Although there were no detrimental effects of using EVA, EMA and EBA-GMA on the thermal properties of PLA, they resulted in certain level of reductions in stiffness, strength and hardness values.