Reactive extrusion: A useful process to manufacture structurally modified PLA/o-MMT composites
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In the present work, poly(lactic acid) (PLA) sheets reinforced with organically modified montmorillonite (o-MMT) were manufactured through reactive extrusion-calendering using a masterbatch approach in a pilot plant. Reaction monitoring analysis suggests the occurrence of premature reactions between o-MMT and the reactive agent; lowering further structural changes in the polymeric matrix. While calendered sheets exhibited a homogenous and preferential distribution of clay particles in MD, the coexistence of mixed structures, involving tactoids of various sizes as well as intercalated clay layers was observed. However, a higher and finer dispersion of o-MMT particles was achieved through clay–polymer tethering via chain extender molecules. Under tensile loading, the aforementioned clay dispersion enhanced multiple cavitation processes, notably improving PLA shear flow.
CitationCailloux, J., Bin, R., Santana, O., Bou, J., Abt, T., Sánchez, M., Carrasco, F., Maspoch, M. Reactive extrusion: A useful process to manufacture structurally modified PLA/o-MMT composites. "Composites. Part A, applied science and manufacturing", 26 Maig 2016, vol. 88, p. 106-115.