Mechanical, barrier, and thermal properties of poly(lactic acid)/poly(trimethylene carbonate)/talc composite films



Poly(l-lactic acid) (PLA) is now a very attractive polymer for food packaging applications. In this study, PLA/poly(trimethylene carbonate) (PTMC)/talc composite films were prepared by solvent casting. The influence of the talc loading (0, 1, 2, and 3 wt %) on the phase morphology of the PLA/PTMC/talc composites and the improvement in the resulting properties are reported in this article. The scanning electron microscopy images of the composite films demonstrated good compatibility between the PLA and PTMC, whereas talc was not thoroughly distributed in the PLA matrix at talc contents exceeding 3 wt %. The tensile strength and elongation at break of the composite films significantly improved (p < 0.05). On the contrary, the water vapor permeability and oxygen properties of the composite films decreased by 24.7 and 39.2%, respectively, at the 2 wt % talc loading. Differential scanning calorimetry showed that the crystallinity of the PLA phase increased with the presence of talc filler in the PLA/PTMC/talc composites. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2014, 131, 40016.