Processing of poly(lactic acid): characterization of chemical structure, thermal stability and mechanical properties
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The processing of poly(lactic acid) (injection and extrusion/injection) as well as annealing of processed materials were studied in order to analyze the variation of its chemical structure, thermal degradation and mechanical properties. Processing of PLA was responsible for a decrease in molecular weight, as determined by GPC, due to chain scission. The degree of crystallinity was evaluated by means of differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction. It was found that mechanical processing led to the quasi disappearance of crystal structure whereas it was recovered after annealing. These findings were qualitatively corroborated by means of FTIR. By analyzing 1H NMR and 13C NMR chemical shifts and peak areas, it was possible to affirm that the chemical composition of PLA did not change after processing, but the proportion of methyl groups increased, thus indicating the presence of a different molecular environment. The thermal stability of the various materials was established by calculating various characteristic temperatures from thermograms as well as conversion and conversion derivative curves. Finally, the mechanical behaviour was determined by means of tensile testing (Young modulus, yield strength and elongation at break).
CitationCarrasco, F. [et al.]. Processing of poly(lactic acid): characterization of chemical structure, thermal stability and mechanical properties. "Polymer degradation and stability", Febrer 2010, vol. 95, núm. 2, p. 116-125.