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Open AccessArticle

Chitin Nanofibrils in Poly(Lactic Acid) (PLA) Nanocomposites: Dispersion and Thermo-Mechanical Properties

Department of Civil and Industrial Engineering, University of Pisa, Via Diotisalvi 2, 56122 Pisa, Italy
National InterUniversity Consortium of Materials Science and Technology (INSTM), Via Giusti 9, 50121 Florence, Italy
Skin Pharmacology and Dermatology Unit, Campania University “Luigi Vanvitelli”, 80100 Naples, Italy
MAVI SUD, Aprilia (LT), 04011 Aprilia, Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(3), 504;
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 January 2019 / Published: 24 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Synthesis and Applications of Biopolymer Composites)
Chitin-nanofibrils are obtained in water suspension at low concentration, as nanoparticles normally are, to avoid their aggregation. The addition of the fibrils in molten PLA during extrusion is thus difficult and disadvantageous. In the present paper, the use of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) is proposed to prepare a solid pre-composite by water evaporation. The pre-composite is then added to PLA in the extruder to obtain transparent nanocomposites. The amount of PEG and chitin nanofibrils was varied in the nanocomposites to compare the reinforcement due to nanofibrils and plasticization due to the presence of PEG, as well as for extrapolating, where possible, the properties of reinforcement due to chitin nanofibrils exclusively. Thermal and morphological properties of nanocomposites were also investigated. This study concluded that chitin nanofibrils, added as reinforcing filler up to 12% by weight, do not alter the properties of the PLA based material; hence, this additive can be used in bioplastic items mainly exploiting its intrinsic anti-microbial and skin regenerating properties. View Full-Text
Keywords: chitin nanofibrils; poly(lactic acid); nanocomposites chitin nanofibrils; poly(lactic acid); nanocomposites
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MDPI and ACS Style

Coltelli, M.-B.; Cinelli, P.; Gigante, V.; Aliotta, L.; Morganti, P.; Panariello, L.; Lazzeri, A. Chitin Nanofibrils in Poly(Lactic Acid) (PLA) Nanocomposites: Dispersion and Thermo-Mechanical Properties. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 504.

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