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Article

Poly(lactic Acid)–Biochar Biocomposites: Effect of Processing and Filler Content on Rheological, Thermal, and Mechanical Properties

1
Department of Applied Science and Technology, and local INSTM Unit, Viale Teresa Michel 5, 15121 Alessandria, Italy
2
Department of Applied Science and Technology, C.so Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(4), 892; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12040892
Received: 30 March 2020 / Revised: 8 April 2020 / Accepted: 11 April 2020 / Published: 12 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mechanical and Advanced Properties of Polymers)
Biocomposites based on poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and biochar (BC) particles derived from spent ground coffee were prepared using two different processing routes, namely melt mixing and solvent casting. The formulated biocomposites were characterized through rheological, thermal, and mechanical analyses, aiming at evaluating the effects of the filler content and of the processing method on their final properties. The rheological characterization demonstrated the effectiveness of both exploited strategies in achieving a good level of filler dispersion within the matrix, notwithstanding the occurrence of a remarkable decrease of the PLA molar mass during the processing at high temperature. Nevertheless, significant alterations of the PLA rheological behavior were observed in the composites obtained by melt mixing. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measurements indicated a remarkable influence of the processing method on the thermal behavior of biocomposites. More specifically, melt mixing caused the appearance of two melting peaks, though the structure of the materials remained almost amorphous; conversely, a significant increase of the crystalline phase content was observed for solvent cast biocomposites containing low amounts of filler that acted as nucleating agents. Finally, thermogravimetric analyses suggested a catalytic effect of BC particles on the degradation of PLA; its biocomposites showed decreased thermal stability as compared with the neat PLA matrix. View Full-Text
Keywords: poly(lactic acid); biochar; melt mixing; solvent casting; rheological behavior; thermal properties poly(lactic acid); biochar; melt mixing; solvent casting; rheological behavior; thermal properties
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MDPI and ACS Style

Arrigo, R.; Bartoli, M.; Malucelli, G. Poly(lactic Acid)–Biochar Biocomposites: Effect of Processing and Filler Content on Rheological, Thermal, and Mechanical Properties. Polymers 2020, 12, 892. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12040892

AMA Style

Arrigo R, Bartoli M, Malucelli G. Poly(lactic Acid)–Biochar Biocomposites: Effect of Processing and Filler Content on Rheological, Thermal, and Mechanical Properties. Polymers. 2020; 12(4):892. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12040892

Chicago/Turabian Style

Arrigo, Rossella, Mattia Bartoli, and Giulio Malucelli. 2020. "Poly(lactic Acid)–Biochar Biocomposites: Effect of Processing and Filler Content on Rheological, Thermal, and Mechanical Properties" Polymers 12, no. 4: 892. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12040892

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