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Open AccessArticle

Forensic Engineering of Advanced Polymeric Materials—Part VII: Degradation of Biopolymer Welded Joints

1
Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials, Polish Academy of Sciences, 34. M. C. Skłodowska St., 41-800 Zabrze, Poland
2
International Polish-Ukrainian Research Laboratory ADPOLCOM, Centre of Polymer and Carbon Materials, Polish Academy of Sciences, 34. M. C. Skłodowska St., 41-800 Zabrze, Poland
3
E.O. Paton Electric Welding Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 11. Kazymyr Malevych Str., 03680 Kyiv, Ukraine
4
International Polish-Ukrainian Research Laboratory ADPOLCOM, E.O. Paton Electric Welding Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, 11. Kazymyr Malevych Str., 03680 Kyiv, Ukraine
5
Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, The Ohio State University, 1680 Madison Avenue, Wooster, OH 44325, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2020, 12(5), 1167; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym12051167 (registering DOI)
Received: 21 April 2020 / Revised: 7 May 2020 / Accepted: 13 May 2020 / Published: 19 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forensic Engineering of Advanced Polymer Materials)
Welding technology may be considered as a promising processing method for the formation of packaging products from biopolymers. However, the welding processes used can change the properties of the polymer materials, especially in the region of the weld. In this contribution, the impact of the welding process on the structure and properties of biopolymer welds and their ability to undergo hydrolytic degradation will be discussed. Samples for the study were made from polylactide (PLA) and poly(3-hydroxyalkanoate) (PHA) biopolymers which were welded using two methods: ultrasonic and heated tool welding. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis showed slight changes in the thermal properties of the samples resulting from the processing and welding method used. The results of hydrolytic degradation indicated that welds of selected biopolymers started to degrade faster than unwelded parts of the samples. The structure of degradation products at the molecular level was confirmed using mass spectrometry. It was found that hydrolysis of the PLA and PHA welds occurs via the random ester bond cleavage and leads to the formation of PLA and PHA oligomers terminated by hydroxyl and carboxyl end groups, similarly to as previously observed for unwelded PLA and PHA-based materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: biopolyesters; polylactide (PLA); poly(3-hydroxyalkanoate) (PHA); polyester welded joints; hydrolytic degradation; differential scanning calorimetry (DSC); electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) biopolyesters; polylactide (PLA); poly(3-hydroxyalkanoate) (PHA); polyester welded joints; hydrolytic degradation; differential scanning calorimetry (DSC); electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sikorska, W.; Zięba, M.; Musioł, M.; Kowalczuk, M.; Janeczek, H.; Chaber, P.; Masiuchok, O.; Demchenko, V.; Talanyuk, V.; Iurzhenko, M.; Puskas, J.; Adamus, G. Forensic Engineering of Advanced Polymeric Materials—Part VII: Degradation of Biopolymer Welded Joints. Polymers 2020, 12, 1167.

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