Behavior of polylactide/microcrystalline cellulose biocomposites: effects of filler content and interfacial compatibilization

DOĞU, Berk
Kaynak, Cevdet
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) content on the properties of polylactide (PLA) biocomposites; including the influences of maleic anhydride (MA) grafted PLA copolymer compatibilization. PLA/MCC biocomposites were produced by industrially compatible production techniques, i.e. twin-screw extrusion melt-mixing for compounding and injection molding for shaping of bulk specimens. SEM analysis and mechanical tests indicated that use of 3 wt% MCC resulted in very uniform distribution and consequently improved properties especially in terms of ductility and toughness. For instance, compared to neat PLA, the increases in the values of % strain at break and fracture toughness were 78 and 31 %, respectively. After MA compatibilization, these increases became as much as 82 and 55 %, respectively. Moreover, DSC and TGA indicated that use of MCC resulted in no significant changes in the transition temperatures and thermal degradation temperatures of PLA.