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    Biodegradable polymers are currently gaining importance in several fields, because they allow mitigation of the impact on the environment related to disposal of traditional, nonbiodegradable polymers, as well as reducing the utilization of oil-based sources (when they also come from renewable resources). Fibers made of biodegradable polymers are of particular interest, though, it is not easy to obtain polymer fibers with suitable mechanical properties and to tailor these to the specific application. The main ways to tailor the mechanical properties of a given biodegradable polymer fiber are based on crystallinity and orientation control. However, crystallinity can only marginally be modified during processing, while orientation can be controlled, either during hot drawing or cold stretching. In this paper, a systematic investigation of the influence of cold stretching on the mechanical and thermomechanical properties of fibers prepared from different biodegradable polymer systems was carried out. Rheological and thermal characterization helped in interpreting the orientation mechanisms, also on the basis of the molecular structure of the polymer systems. It was found that cold drawing strongly improved the elastic modulus, tensile strength and thermomechanical resistance of the fibers, in comparison with hot-spun fibers. The elastic modulus showed higher increment rates in the biodegradable systems upon increasing the draw ratio.


    Francesco Paolo La Mantia, Manuela Ceraulo, Maria Chiara Mistretta, Marco Morreale. Effect of cold drawing on mechanical properties of biodegradable fibers. Journal of applied biomaterials & functional materials. 2017 Jan 26;15(1):e70-e76

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    PMID: 27716870

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