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Polymers 2018, 10(10), 1178;

Simultaneous Enhancement of Strength and Toughness of PLA Induced by Miscibility Variation with PVA

1,2,* and 4,*
School of Mechanics and Engineering Science, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, China
National Centre for International Joint Research of Micro-nano Molding Technology, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450001, China
National Engineering Research Center for Advanced Polymer Processing Technology, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou 450002, China
MOE Key Laboratory of Space Applied Physics and Chemistry, Shanxi Key Laboratory of Macromolecular Science and Technology, School of Science, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an 710072, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 September 2018 / Revised: 18 October 2018 / Accepted: 19 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
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The mechanical properties of poly (lactic acid) (PLA) nanofibers with 0%, 5%, 10%, and 20% (w/w) poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) were investigated at the macro- and microscale. The macro-mechanical properties for the fiber membrane revealed that both the modulus and fracture strain could be improved by 100% and 70%, respectively, with a PVA content of 5%. The variation in modulus and fracture strain versus the diameter of a single electrospun fiber presented two opposite trends, while simultaneous enhancement was observed when the content of PVA was 5% and 10%. With a diameter of 1 μm, the strength and toughness of the L95V5 and L90V10 fibers were enhanced to over 3 and 2 times that of pure PLA, respectively. The structural evolution of electrospun nanofiber was analyzed by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Although PLA and PVA were still miscible in the concentration range used, the latter could crystallize independently after electrospinning. According to the crystallization behavior of the nanofibers, a double network formed by PLA and PVA—one microcrystal/ordered structure and one amorphous structure—is proposed to contribute to the simultaneous enhancement of strength and toughness, which provides a promising method for preparing biodegradable material with high performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: poly (vinyl alcohol); poly (lactic acid); miscibility; mechanical property poly (vinyl alcohol); poly (lactic acid); miscibility; mechanical property

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Liu, Y.; Wei, H.; Wang, Z.; Li, Q.; Tian, N. Simultaneous Enhancement of Strength and Toughness of PLA Induced by Miscibility Variation with PVA. Polymers 2018, 10, 1178.

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