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Analysis of the Degradation During Melt Processing of PLA/Biosilicate® Composites

Graduate Program in Materials Science and Engineering, Federal University of São Carlos, Via Washington Luiz, Km 235, 13565-905 São Carlos, SP, Brazil
Department of Materials Engineering, Federal University of São Carlos, Via Washington Luiz, Km 235, 13565-905 São Carlos, SP, Brazil
Science and Technology Institute. Federal University of São Paulo, Talim St. 330, 12231-280 São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3(2), 52;
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 9 May 2019 / Accepted: 13 May 2019 / Published: 16 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanocomposites for Biomedical Implants and Tissue Engineering)
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Poly (lactic acid) (PLA)/bioactive composites are emerging as new biomaterials since it is possible to combine stiffness, mechanical resistance, and bioactive character of the bioglasses with conformability and bioabsorption of the PLA. In this study, PLA/Biosilicate® composites were prepared using a melt-processing route. The processability and properties were evaluated aiming to produce composites with bioactive properties. Two different PLA (PLA 2003D and PLA 4043D) were tested with the addition of 1 wt. % of Biosilicate®. Both materials presented a huge reduction in melt viscosity after internal mixer processing. The degradation effects of the addition of Biosilicate® in the PLAs matrices were evaluated using zeta potential tests that showed a very high liberation of ions, which catalyzes PLA thermo-oxidative reactions. To understand the extension of degradation effects during the processing, the composites were characterized using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), gel permeation chromatography (GPC), and rheological tests. GPC results showed that PLA with the lowest residual acid content (RAC), PLA 2003D, presented higher thermal stability, higher molecular weight, and viscosity baseline compared to PLA 4043D. The composites showed a significant decrease in molecular weight for both PLA with the addition of Biosilicate®. TGA results showed that Biosilicate® might have reduced the activation energy to initiate thermodegradation reactions in PLAs and it occasioned a reduction in the Tonset by almost 40 °C. The DSC results showed that severe matrix degradation and the presence of bioglass did not significantly affect glass transition temperature (Tg), melting temperature (Tm) and crystallinity of PLAs, but it influenced cold crystallization peak (Tcc). In this way, the type of PLA used influences the processability of this material, which can make the production of filaments of this material for 3D printing unfeasible. View Full-Text
Keywords: poly (lactic acid); Biosilicate®; melt compounding; biomaterial; degradation poly (lactic acid); Biosilicate®; melt compounding; biomaterial; degradation

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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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Backes, E.H.; Pires, L.N.; Costa, L.C.; Passador, F.R.; Pessan, L.A. Analysis of the Degradation During Melt Processing of PLA/Biosilicate® Composites. J. Compos. Sci. 2019, 3, 52.

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