Main content area

Poly(l-lactic acid) bio-composites reinforced by oligo(d-lactic acid) grafted chitosan for simultaneously improved ductility, strength and modulus

Li, Wei, Sun, Qisong, Mu, Bingnan, Luo, Guiqing, Xu, Helan, Yang, Yiqi
International journal of biological macromolecules 2019 v.131 pp. 495-504
biocomposites, brittleness, carbon, chemical interactions, chitosan, corn, differential scanning calorimetry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, polylactic acid, scanning electron microscopy, stable isotopes, toxic substances
PLA bio-composites reinforced by oligo(d-lactic acid) grafted chitosan has been developed for simultaneously improved ductility, strength and modulus. Brittleness problem greatly limits the applications of PLA, a polymer derived from corn. Various methods have been developed to solve the brittleness problem. Unfortunately, these methods have their limitations, such as sacrifice of strength and modulus of PLA, use of toxic chemicals and high costs. Bio-based elastomers such as chitosan also have poor compatibility with PLA, leading to poor mechanical properties. The hypothesis for this research is that CS-g-oligo(D-LA) particles with good ductility could form strong interfacial interactions with PLLA matrix. Reinforcing effect of CS-g-oligo(D-LA) particles on PLLA matrix was systematically studied. Compatibility and intermolecular interactions between CS-g-oligo(D-LA) particles and PLLA matrix were studied by SEM, DSC and 13C NMR analyses. The reinforcing mechanism was summarized. Due to effective transfer of stress from PLLA matrix to the strong but ductile skeletons of CS-g-oligo(D-LA), ductility, strength and modulus of PLLA bio-composites were substantially improved. This novel reinforcing strategy via formation of strong interactions between enantiomeric lactyl units would enrich the fabrication and exploration of high-performance PLA-based bio-composites.