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Polymers 2014, 6(8), 2232-2246; doi:10.3390/polym6082232

Effects of Graphene Nanoplatelets and Reduced Graphene Oxide on Poly(lactic acid) and Plasticized Poly(lactic acid): A Comparative Study

1
Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2
Department of Chemistry, Centre for Defence Foundation Studies, National Defence University of Malaysia, Sungai Besi Camp, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3
Materials Synthesis and Characterization Laboratory, Institute of Advanced Techonology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
4
Department of Food Science, Faculty of Food Science and Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 June 2014 / Revised: 24 July 2014 / Accepted: 25 July 2014 / Published: 21 August 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Graphene-based Polymer Composites)
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Abstract

The superlative mechanical properties of graphene-based materials make them the ideal filler materials for polymer composites reinforcement. Two types of graphene-based materials, graphene nanoplatelets (xGnP) and reduced graphene oxide (rGO), were used as nanofiller in poly(lactic acid) (PLA) polymer matrix, as well as plasticized PLA. The addition of rGO into PLA or plasticized PLA substantially enhanced the tensile strength without deteriorating elasticity, compared to xGnP nanocomposites. In addition, the investigation of the thermal properties has found that the presence of rGO in the system is very beneficial for improving thermal stability of the PLA or plasticized PLA. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of the rGO nanocomposites display homogenous and good uniformity morphology. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images revealed that the rGO remained intact as graphene sheet layers and were dispersed well into the polymer matrix, and it was confirmed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) results, which shows no graphitic peak in the XRD pattern. View Full-Text
Keywords: graphene nanoplatelets; reduced graphene oxide; plasticized; poly(lactic acid) graphene nanoplatelets; reduced graphene oxide; plasticized; poly(lactic acid)
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Chieng, B.W.; Ibrahim, N.A.; Yunus, W.M.Z.W.; Hussein, M.Z.; Then, Y.Y.; Loo, Y.Y. Effects of Graphene Nanoplatelets and Reduced Graphene Oxide on Poly(lactic acid) and Plasticized Poly(lactic acid): A Comparative Study. Polymers 2014, 6, 2232-2246.

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