Effect of Selected Commercial Plasticizers on Mechanical, Thermal, and Morphological Properties of Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate)/ Poly(lactic acid)/Plasticizer Biodegradable Blends for Three-Dimensional (3D) Print
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This paper explores the influence of selected commercial plasticizers structure, which are based on esters of citric acid, on mechanical and thermal properties of Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate)/Poly(lactic acid)/Plasticizer biodegradable blends. These plasticizers were first tested with respect to their miscibility with Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate)/Poly(lactic acid) (PHB/PLA) blends using a kneading machine. PHB/PLA/plasticizer blends in the weight ratio (wt %) of 60/25/15 were then prepared by single screw and corotating meshing twin screw extruders in the form of filament for further three-dimensional (3D) printing. Mechanical, thermal properties, and shape stability (warping effect) of 3D printed products can be improved just by the addition of appropriate plasticizer to polymeric blend. The goal was to create new types of eco-friendly PHB/PLA/plasticizers blends and to highly improve the poor mechanical properties of neat PHB/PLA blends (with majority of PHB) by adding appropriate plasticizer. Mechanical properties of plasticized blends were then determined by the tensile test of 3D printed test samples (dogbones), as well as filaments. Measured elongation at break rapidly enhanced from 21% for neat non-plasticized PHB/PLA blends (reference) to 328% for best plasticized blends in the form of filament, and from 5% (reference) to 187% for plasticized blends in the form of printed dogbones. The plasticizing effect on blends was confirmed by Modulated Differential Scanning Calorimetry. The study of morphology was performed by the Scanning Electron Microscopy. Significant problem of plasticized blends used to be also plasticizer migration, therefore the diffusion of plasticizers from the blends after 15 days of exposition to 110 °C in the drying oven was investigated as their measured weight loss. Almost all of the used plasticizers showed meaningful positive softening effects, but the diffusion of plasticizers at 110 °C exposition was quite extensive. The determination of the degree of disintegration of selected plasticized blend when exposed to a laboratory-scale composting environment was executed to roughly check the “biodegradability”.
Document typePeer reviewed
SourceMaterials . 2018, vol. 11, issue 10, p. 1-20.