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In this study, composites of semicrystalline, biodegradable polylactide (PLA) and poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyhexanoate) (PHB-HHx) were prepared by direct melt compounding. The physical and thermal properties of the composites were investigated as a function of the composition ratio. Differential scanning calorimetry analysis indicated that PLA and PHB-HHx formed immiscible composites over the observed range of composition. The crystallization of PLA was gradually suppressed by increasing proportions of PHB-HHx. Dynamic mechanical analysis results confirmed that the innate ductility of PHB-HHX and its inhibiting effect on PLA crystallization improved the stiffness of the composite compared to those of neat PLA. The infrared spectra of the immiscible PLA/PHB-HHx composites at two crystallization temperatures (30 °C, 130 °C) were obtained and presented. At 30 °C, PHB-HHx existed as crystalline domains in the PLA matrix, while, amorphous phase of molten PHB-HHx was diffused within the crystalline phase of PLA at 130 °C. The interaction between PHB-HHX and PLA could not be elucidated from the temperature data. Mechanical tests showed that the addition of PHB-HHx improves ductility of PLA/PHB-HHx composite. Morphological analysis revealed that small proportions of PHB-HHx exhibited less tendency to aggregate, which resulted in greater plastic deformation and improved toughness. From this study, PLA blended with small portions of PHB-HHx may further expand the use of bio-friendly resources in a variety of applications such as flexible films, food packaging and something like that. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Jung Seop Lim, Ku-il Park, Gun Soo Chung, Jong Hoon Kim. Effect of composition ratio on the thermal and physical properties of semicrystalline PLA/PHB-HHx composites. Materials science & engineering. C, Materials for biological applications. 2013 May 1;33(4):2131-7

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PMID: 23498241

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