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Chemical Modification and Foam Processing of Polylactide (PLA)

1
Depatment of Polymer Engineering, University Bayreuth, Universitätsstraße 30, 95447 Bayreuth, Germany
2
Institut für Kunststofftechnik, University of Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 32, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
3
Bavarian Polymer Institute and Bayreuth Institute of Macromolecular Research, University of Bayreuth, Universitätsstraße 30, 95447 Bayreuth, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(2), 306; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11020306
Received: 16 January 2019 / Revised: 6 February 2019 / Accepted: 7 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Foaming and Injection Moulding in Polymer Processing)
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Abstract

Polylactide (PLA) is known as one of the most promising biopolymers as it is derived from renewable feedstock and can be biodegraded. During the last two decades, it moved more and more into the focus of scientific research and industrial use. It is even considered as a suitable replacement for standard petroleum-based polymers, such as polystyrene (PS), which can be found in a wide range of applications—amongst others in foams for packaging and insulation applications—but cause strong environmental issues. PLA has comparable mechanical properties to PS. However, the lack of melt strength is often referred to as a drawback for most foaming processes. One way to overcome this issue is the incorporation of chemical modifiers which can induce chain extension, branching, or cross-linking. As such, a wide variety of substances were studied in the literature. This work should give an overview of the most commonly used chemical modifiers and their effects on rheological, thermal, and foaming behavior. Therefore, this review article summarizes the research conducted on neat and chemically modified PLA foamed with the conventional foaming methods (i.e., batch foaming, foam extrusion, foam injection molding, and bead foaming). View Full-Text
Keywords: polylactide (PLA); biofoams; chemical modification; foam extrusion; batch foaming; foam injection molding; bead foaming; rheology; crystallization; density reduction polylactide (PLA); biofoams; chemical modification; foam extrusion; batch foaming; foam injection molding; bead foaming; rheology; crystallization; density reduction
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Standau, T.; Zhao, C.; Murillo Castellón, S.; Bonten, C.; Altstädt, V. Chemical Modification and Foam Processing of Polylactide (PLA). Polymers 2019, 11, 306.

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