Crystallization and biodegradation of polylactide/carbon nanotube composites

Authors

  • Defeng Wu,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Yangzhou University, Jiangsu 225002, People's Republic of China
    2. Provincial Key Laboratories of Environmental Material & Engineering, Jiangsu 225002, People's Republic of China
    • School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Yangzhou University, Jiangsu 225002, People's Republic of China
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  • Liang Wu,

    1. School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Yangzhou University, Jiangsu 225002, People's Republic of China
    2. Provincial Key Laboratories of Environmental Material & Engineering, Jiangsu 225002, People's Republic of China
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  • Weidong Zhou,

    1. Testing Center, Yangzhou University, Jiangsu 225002, People's Republic of China
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  • Ming Zhang,

    1. School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Yangzhou University, Jiangsu 225002, People's Republic of China
    2. Provincial Key Laboratories of Environmental Material & Engineering, Jiangsu 225002, People's Republic of China
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  • Tao Yang

    1. School of Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Yangzhou University, Jiangsu 225002, People's Republic of China
    2. Provincial Key Laboratories of Environmental Material & Engineering, Jiangsu 225002, People's Republic of China
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Abstract

The crystallization behavior of polylactide/carbon nanotube composites was studied using differential scanning calorimeter and polarized optical microscope. The nucleation mechanisms and the crystallization kinetics were explored. The results show that the presence of nanotubes has nucleating effect on both the melt crystallization and the cold crystallization of PLA. However, the nanotubes also play the role of physical barrier, impeding the crystal growth dynamically. In the experimental range of temperatures, the presence of nanotubes accelerates the melt crystallization, while retards the overall kinetics of the cold crystallization. The biodegradability of the samples with various crystallization histories was then further examined. The results show that the presence of nanotubes reduces the biodegradation rate of PLA, and the amorphous sample shows the highest degradation levels. Moreover, a lower degradation level is observed both on the surface and inside the sample with melt crystallization history in contrast to the one with cold crystallization history. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 50:1721–1733, 2010. © 2010 Society of Plastics Engineers

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