Structure and thermal behavior of poly (L‐lactic acid) clay nanocomposites: Effect of preparation method as a function of the nanofiller modification level
Marras, Sotirios I.
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The structural and thermal characteristics of poly(L-lactic acid)/layered-silicate hybrid materials that were produced via two different routes, namely by solvent casting and by melt mixing, were compared in association with the degree of clay modification. Investigation of the produced materials' structure revealed that, at low modification levels, melt blending is necessary in dispersing the amine-treated clay into the polymer matrix. At intermediate degrees of modification, both techniques are capable of swelling the silicate clay with the solution casting to be a more effective method. Thermal measurements showed that the clay modification level influences significantly the thermal stability of both solution and melt processed hybrids. Moreover, the material derived from melt mixing displayed a higher onset decomposition temperature. The glass transition temperature of the polymer was not significantly affected by the preparation method followed. However, the crystallization process was found to be strongly dependent on both the preparation method and the degree of clay modification.