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Poly(lactic acid)/layered silicate nanocomposite films: Morphology, mechanical properties, and effects of γ-radiation

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Abstract

Poly(Lactic acid) (PLA)-layered silicate nanocomposite films were prepared by solvent casting method. The films were irradiated with Co60 radiation facility at dose of 30 kGy. The effect of γ irradiation on mechanical properties of the neat PLA and nanocomposites was evaluated by data obtained from tensile testing measurements. The tensile strength of the irradiated PLA films increased with addition of 1 wt % triallyl cyanurate indicating crosslink formation. Significant ductile behavior was observed in the PLA nanocomposites containing 4 pph of nanoclay. Incorporation of nanoclay particles in the PLA matrix stimulated crystal growth as it was studied by differential scanning calorimetry. The morphology of the nanocomposites characterized by transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction revealed an exfoliated morphology in the PLA nanocomposite films containing 4 pph of nanoclay. Only very small changes were observed in the chemical structure of the irradiated samples as it was investigated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011

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