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Poly (lactic acid) blends: Processing, properties and applications

Nofar, Mohammadreza, Sacligil, Dilara, Carreau, Pierre J., Kamal, Musa R., Heuzey, Marie-Claude
International journal of biological macromolecules 2019 v.125 pp. 307-360
biodegradability, brittleness, crystallization, crystals, engineering, foams, melting, mixing, nanoparticles, petroleum, polylactic acid, researchers, temperature, thermoplastics
Poly (lactic acid) or polylactide (PLA) is a commercial biobased, biodegradable, biocompatible, compostable and non-toxic polymer that has competitive material and processing costs and desirable mechanical properties. Thereby, it can be considered favorably for biomedical applications and as the most promising substitute for petroleum-based polymers in a wide range of commodity and engineering applications. However, PLA has some significant shortcomings such as low melt strength, slow crystallization rate, poor processability, high brittleness, low toughness, and low service temperature, which limit its applications. To overcome these limitations, blending PLA with other polymers is an inexpensive approach that could also tailor the final properties of PLA-based products. During the last two decades, researchers investigated the synthesis, processing, properties, and development of various PLA-based blend systems including miscible blends of poly l-lactide (PLLA) and poly d-lactide (PDLA), which generate stereocomplex crystals, binary immiscible/miscible blends of PLA with other thermoplastics, multifunctional ternary blends using a third polymer or fillers such as nanoparticles, as well as PLA-based blend foam systems. This article reviews all these investigations and compares the syntheses/processing-morphology-properties interrelationships in PLA-based blends developed so far for various applications.