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Blends based on poly(lactic acid) : structure/rheology/processing relationship

Abstract : The ultimate aim of the present thesis focuses on the structure/processing/properties relationship of the PLA/PBAT materials. The latters are intended for food packaging in order to replace poly (ethylene terephthalate (PET). However, PLA has a limited processability in conventional technologies of plastics industry. The strengthening of its melt properties has been achieved through the incorporation of a multifunctional epoxide, able to react with the end chains of polyesters. Furthermore, PLA/PBAT blends were prepared to make the final material more ductile. The first part of the study consists on the understanding of thermal and hydrolytic degradation mechanisms of neat PLA and PBAT polymers upon processing. Indeed, the degradation was overcome through the chain extension reaction coupled to branching, induced by the multifunctional epoxide. The chain extension and branching mechanisms were highlighted by the analysis of the activation energy and the relaxation spectra in the molten state as well as the physico-chemical properties in solution. Moreover, the Van-Gurp-Palmen plots confirm the co-existence of linear and randomly branched macromolecular chains. The second part has been dedicated to the compatibilization of PLA/PBAT blends by the multifunctional epoxide. Experimental models studies, based on the assessment of the interfacial tension, and the rheological modeling showed the major role of the reactive epoxide agent as a compatibilizer. Thus, the decrease of the interfacial tension gives a better cohesive interface with finer and homogenous morphology of the dispersed phase, accompanied with an improvement of the mechanical properties. The study of the shear and elongation rheological properties of modified materials showed an enhancement of their melt strength. Therefore, a better ability to be blown has been demonstrated, by expanding their stability maps. Besides, biaxial stretching studies of neat polymers, their modified counterparts as well as their blends show a structural strain hardening, due to a strain-induced crystallization. The crystalline phases were analyzed thanks to calorimetric and spectroscopic methods. Finally, the present studies have been used to elaborate and understand the behavior of a complex industrial formulation based on PLA, PBAT and thermoplastic cereal flour.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 25, 2013 - 10:02:50 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00876617, version 1


Racha Al-Itry. Blends based on poly(lactic acid) : structure/rheology/processing relationship. Other. INSA de Lyon, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012ISAL0116⟩. ⟨tel-00876617⟩



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