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Tailoring the Properties of Thermo-Compressed Polylactide Films for Food Packaging Applications by Individual and Combined Additions of Lactic Acid Oligomer and Halloysite Nanotubes

AuthorsRojas-Lema, Sandra; Quiles Carrillo, Luis; Garcia-Garcia, Daniel; Meléndez Rodríguez, Beatriz; Balart, Rafael; Torres Giner, Sergio
Ultrasound-assisted dispersion
Food packaging
Issue Date23-Apr-2020
PublisherMultidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
CitationMolecules 25(8): 1976 (2020)
AbstractIn this work, films of polylactide (PLA) prepared by extrusion and thermo-compression were plasticized with oligomer of lactic acid (OLA) at contents of 5, 10, and 20 wt%. The PLA sample containing 20 wt% of OLA was also reinforced with 3, 6, and 9 parts per hundred resin (phr) of halloysite nanotubes (HNTs) to increase the mechanical strength and thermal stability of the films. Prior to melt mixing, ultrasound-assisted dispersion of the nanoclays in OLA was carried out at 100 °C to promote the HNTs dispersion in PLA and the resultant films were characterized with the aim to ascertain their potential in food packaging. It was observed that either the individual addition of OLA or combined with 3 phr of HNTs did not significantly affect the optical properties of the PLA films, whereas higher nanoclay contents reduced lightness and induced certain green and blue tonalities. The addition of 20 wt% of OLA increased ductility of the PLA film by nearly 75% and also decreased the glass transition temperature (Tg) by over 18 °C. The incorporation of 3 phr of HNTs into the OLA-containing PLA films delayed thermal degradation by 7 °C and additionally reduced the permeabilities to water and limonene vapors by approximately 8% and 47%, respectively. Interestingly, the highest barrier performance was attained for the unfilled PLA film plasticized with 10 wt% of OLA, which was attributed to a crystallinity increase and an effect of “antiplasticization”. However, loadings of 6 and 9 phr of HNTs resulted in the formation of small aggregates that impaired the performance of the blend films. The here-attained results demonstrates that the properties of ternary systems of PLA/OLA/HNTs can be tuned when the plasticizer and nanofiller contents are carefully chosen and the resultant nanocomposite films can be proposed as a bio-sourced alternative for compostable packaging applications.
Description© 2020 by the authors
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25081976
Appears in Collections:(IATA) Artículos
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