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Article

Nanocomposites Materials of PLA Reinforced with Nanoclays Using a Masterbatch Technology: A Study of the Mechanical Performance and Its Sustainability

1
Group LEPAMAP-PRODIS, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Girona, C/M. Aurèlia Capmany, 61, 17003 Girona, Spain
2
UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change ESCI-UPF, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Passeig Pujades 1, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Debora Puglia, Alfonso Jimenez and María Carmen Garrigós
Polymers 2021, 13(13), 2133; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13132133
Received: 16 May 2021 / Revised: 22 June 2021 / Accepted: 23 June 2021 / Published: 29 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Biobased Polymer Composites)
Packaging consumes around 40% of the total plastic production. One of the most important fields with high requirements is food packaging. Food packaging products have been commonly produced with petrol polymers, but due to environmental concerns, the market is being moved to biopolymers. Poly (lactic acid) (PLA) is the most promising biopolymer, as it is bio-based and biodegradable, and it is well established in the market. Nonetheless, its barrier properties need to be enhanced to be competitive with other polymers such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Nanoclays improve the barrier properties of polymeric materials if correct dispersion and exfoliation are obtained. Thus, it marks a milestone to obtain an appropriate dispersion. A predispersed methodology is proposed as a compounding process to improve the dispersion of these composites instead of common melt procedures. Afterwards, the effect of the polarity of the matrix was analyzing using polar and surface modified nanoclays with contents ranging from 2 to 8% w/w. The results showed the suitability of the predispersed and concentrated compound, technically named masterbatch, to obtain intercalated structures and the higher dispersion of polar nanoclays. Finally, the mechanical performance and sustainability of the prepared materials were simulated in a food tray, showing the best assessment of these materials and their lower fingerprint. View Full-Text
Keywords: nanocomposites; nanoreinforcement; mechanical performance; sustainability nanocomposites; nanoreinforcement; mechanical performance; sustainability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Oliver-Ortega, H.; Tresserras, J.; Julian, F.; Alcalà, M.; Bala, A.; Espinach, F.X.; Méndez, J.A. Nanocomposites Materials of PLA Reinforced with Nanoclays Using a Masterbatch Technology: A Study of the Mechanical Performance and Its Sustainability. Polymers 2021, 13, 2133. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13132133

AMA Style

Oliver-Ortega H, Tresserras J, Julian F, Alcalà M, Bala A, Espinach FX, Méndez JA. Nanocomposites Materials of PLA Reinforced with Nanoclays Using a Masterbatch Technology: A Study of the Mechanical Performance and Its Sustainability. Polymers. 2021; 13(13):2133. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13132133

Chicago/Turabian Style

Oliver-Ortega, Helena, Josep Tresserras, Fernando Julian, Manel Alcalà, Alba Bala, Francesc X. Espinach, and José A. Méndez 2021. "Nanocomposites Materials of PLA Reinforced with Nanoclays Using a Masterbatch Technology: A Study of the Mechanical Performance and Its Sustainability" Polymers 13, no. 13: 2133. https://doi.org/10.3390/polym13132133

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