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Microstructure, rheological behavior, and properties of poly(lactic acid)/poly(butylene succinate)/organoclay nanocomposites

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Abstract

Nanocomposites made of poly(lactic acid), poly(butylene succinate), and organically modified montmorillonite were prepared by melt blending in a twin screw extruder. The influence of the organoclay content on nanocomposite properties was investigated. The nanocomposite structure has been characterized by various techniques at different scales. X-ray diffraction showed an intercalated structure whereas rheological investigations in small amplitude oscillatory shear indicated a partial exfoliation. It was also shown that organoclay was evenly dispersed in the matrix even though some large aggregates were also observed. The mechanical properties of nanocomposites were measured in uniaxial tensile test. Oxygen and water vapor permeability was also characterized. It was shown that dispersed organoclay and aggregates have a direct impact on mechanical properties and permeability. An increase of Young's modulus by 41% and a decrease of permeability by 40% could be obtained with 7 wt % organoclay. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 40364.

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