Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 8

PLA Related Abstracts

8 Study of the Influence of the Different Treatments in Almond Shell-Based Masterbatches

Authors: A. Martinez, A. Ibáñez, A. Sánchez, M. A. León


This article is focused on the development of a series of biodegradable and eco-friendly masterbatches based on polylactic acid (PLA) filled with almond shell to study the influence of almond shell in the properties of injected biodegradable parts. These innovative masterbatches have 20 wt % of the almond shell. Different treatments were carried out with sodium hydroxide (NaOH) and maleic anhydride (MA) to obtain better interfacial bonding between fibre and matrix. The masterbatches were produced by varying the fibre treatments (type of treatment, concentration and temperature). The masterbatches have been injected to obtain standardised test samples in order to study mechanical properties. The results show that, the some of the treated fibres present slightly higher flexural modulus and impact strength than untreated fibres. This study is part of a LIFE project (MASTALMOND) aimed to create and test at preindustrial level new coloured masterbatches based on biodegradable polymers and containing in its formulation a high percentage of almond shell, a natural waste material, which firstly will permit to cover technical requirements of two traditional industrial sectors: toy and furniture, although the results achieved could be extended to other industrial sectors.

Keywords: biodegradable, injection moulding, additivation, almond shell, masterbatch, PLA

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7 Bio Based Agro Textiles

Authors: K. Sakthivel


With the continuous increase in population worldwide, stress increased among agricultural peoples, so it is necessary to increase the yield of agro-products. But it is not possible to meet fully with the traditionally adopted ways of using pesticides and herbicides. Today, agriculture and horticulture has realized the need of tomorrow and opting for various technologies to get higher overall yield, quality agro-products. Most of today’s synthetic polymers are produced from petrochemical bi-products and are not biodegradable. Persistent polymers generate significant sources of environmental pollution, harming wildlife when they are disposed in nature. The disposal of non degradable plastic bags adversely affects human and wild life. Moreover incineration of plastic waste presents environmental issues as well, since it yields toxic emissions. Material incineration is also limited due to the difficulties to find accurate and economically viable outlets. In addition plastic recycling shows a negative eco balance due to the necessity in nearly all cases to wash the plastic waste as well as the energy consumption during the recycling process phases. As plastics represent a large part of the waste collection at the local regional and national levels institutions are aware of the significant savings that compostable or biodegradable materials would generate. Polylactic acid (PLA), which is one of the most important biocompatible polyesters that are derived from annually renewable biomass such as corn and wheat, has attracted much attention for automotive parts and also can be applied in agro textiles. The manufacturing method of PLA is the ring-opening polymerization of the dimeric cyclic ester of lactic acid, lactide. For the stereo complex PLA, we developed by the four unit processes, fermentation, separation, lactide conversion, and polymerization. Then the polymer is converted into mulching film and applied in agriculture field. PLA agro textiles have better tensile strength, tearing strength and with stand from UV rays than polyester agro textile and polypropylene-based products.

Keywords: Environment, Technical Textiles, biodegradation, PLA, mulching film

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6 Characterization of Surface Microstructures on Bio-Based PLA Fabricated with Nano-Imprint Lithography

Authors: I. Koliakou, D. Bikiaris, M. Nerantzaki, A. Francone, N. Kehagias


In the present study, the formation of structures in poly(lactic acid) (PLA) has been investigated with respect to producing areas of regular, superficial features with dimensions comparable to those of cells or biological macromolecules. Nanoimprint lithography, a method of pattern replication in polymers, has been used for the production of features ranging from tens of micrometers, covering areas up to 1 cm², down to hundreds of nanometers. Both micro- and nano-structures were faithfully replicated. Potentially, PLA has wide uses within biomedical fields, from implantable medical devices, including screws and pins, to membrane applications, such as wound covers, and even as an injectable polymer for, for example, lipoatrophy. The possibility of fabricating structured PLA surfaces, with structures of the dimensions associated with cells or biological macro- molecules, is of interest in fields such as cellular engineering. Imprint-based technologies have demonstrated the ability to selectively imprint polymer films over large areas resulting in 3D imprints over flat, curved or pre-patterned surfaces. Here, we compare nano-patterned with nano-patterned by nanoimprint lithography (NIL) PLA film. A silicon nanostructured stamp (provided by Nanotypos company) having positive and negative protrusions was used to pattern PLA films by means of thermal NIL. The polymer film was heated from 40°C to 60°C above its Tg and embossed with a pressure of 60 bars for 3 min. The stamp and substrate were demolded at room temperature. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images showed good replication fidelity of the replicated Si stamp. Contact-angle measurements suggested that positive microstructuring of the polymer (where features protrude from the polymer surface) produced a more hydrophilic surface than negative micro-structuring. The ability to structure the surface of the poly(lactic acid), allied to the polymer’s post-processing transparency and proven biocompatibility. Films produced in this were also shown to enhance the aligned attachment behavior and proliferation of Wharton’s Jelly Mesenchymal Stem cells, leading to the observed growth contact guidance. The bacterial attachment patterns of some bacteria, highlighted that the nano-patterned PLA structure can reduce the propensity for the bacteria to attach to the surface, with a greater bactericidal being demonstrated activity against the Staphylococcus aureus cells. These biocompatible, micro- and nanopatterned PLA surfaces could be useful for polymer– cell interaction experiments at dimensions at, or below, that of individual cells. Indeed, post-fabrication modification of the microstructured PLA surface, with materials such as collagen (which can further reduce the hydrophobicity of the surface), will extend the range of applications, possibly through the use of PLA’s inherent biodegradability. Further study is being undertaken to examine whether these structures promote cell growth on the polymer surface.

Keywords: poly(lactic acid), PLA, nano-imprint lithography, anti-bacterial properties

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5 Surface Modification of Pineapple Leaf Fibre Reinforced Polylactic Acid Composites

Authors: Januar Parlaungan Siregar, Davindra Brabu Mathivanan, Dandi Bachtiar, Mohd Ruzaimi Mat Rejab, Tezara Cionita


Natural fibres play a significant role in mass industries such as automotive, construction and sports. Many researchers have found that the natural fibres are the best replacement for the synthetic fibres in terms of cost, safety, and degradability due to the shortage of landfill and ingestion of non biodegradable plastic by animals. This study mainly revolved around pineapple leaf fibre (PALF) which is available abundantly in tropical countries and with excellent mechanical properties. The composite formed in this study is highly biodegradable as both fibre and matrix are both derived from natural based products. The matrix which is polylactic acid (PLA) is made from corn starch which gives the upper hand as both material are renewable resources are easier to degrade by bacteria or enzyme. The PALF is treated with different alkaline solution to remove excessive moisture in the fibre to provide better interfacial bonding with PLA. Thereafter the PALF is washed with distilled water several times before placing in vacuum oven at 80°C for 48 hours. The dried PALF later were mixed with PLA using extrusion method using fibre in percentage of 30 by weight. The temperature for all zone were maintained at 160°C with the screw speed of 50 rpm for better bonding and afterwards the products of the mixture were pelletized using pelletizer. The pellets were placed in the specimen-sized mould for hot compression under the temperature of 170°C at 5 MPa for 5 min and subsequently were cold pressed under room temperature at 5 MPa for 5 min. The specimen were tested for tensile and flexure strength according to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) D638 and D790 respectively. The effect of surface modification on PALF with different alkali solution will be investigated and compared.

Keywords: Composite, natural fibre, PLA, PALF

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4 Assessment of the Change in Strength Properties of Biocomposites Based on PLA and PHA after 4 Years of Storage in a Highly Cooled Condition

Authors: Karolina Mazur, Stanislaw Kuciel


Polylactides (PLA) and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) are the two groups of biodegradable and biocompatible thermoplastic polymers most commonly utilised in medicine and rehabilitation. The aim of this work is to determine the changes in the strength properties and the microstructures taking place in biodegradable polymer composites during their long-term storage in a highly cooled environment (i.e. a freezer at -24ºC) and to initially assess the durability of such biocomposites when used as single-use elements of rehabilitation or medical equipment. It is difficult to find any information relating to the feasibility of long-term storage of technical products made of PLA or PHA, but nonetheless, when using these materials to make products such as casings of hair dryers, laptops or mobile phones, it is safe to assume that without storing in optimal conditions their degradation time might last even several years. SEM images and the assessment of the strength properties (tensile, bending and impact testing) were carried out and the density and water sorption of two polymers, PLA and PHA (NaturePlast PLE 001 and PHE 001), filled with cellulose fibres (corncob grain – Rehofix MK100, Rettenmaier&Sohne) up to 10 and 20% mass were determined. The biocomposites had been stored at a temperature of -24ºC for 4 years. In order to find out the changes in the strength properties and the microstructure taking place after such a long time of storage, the results of the assessment have been compared with the results of the same research carried out 4 years before. Results shows a significant change in the manner of fractures – from ductile with developed surface for the PHA composite with corncob grain when the tensile testing was performed directly after the injection into a more brittle state after 4 years of storage, which is confirmed by the strength tests, where a decrease of deformation is observed at point of fracture. The research showed that there is a way of storing medical devices made out of PLA or PHA for a reasonably long time, as long as the required temperature of storage is met. The decrease of mechanical properties found during tensile testing and bending for PLA was less than 10% of the tensile strength, while the modulus of elasticity and deformation at fracturing slightly rose, which may implicate the beginning of degradation processes. The strength properties of PHA are even higher after 4 years of storage, although in that case the decrease of deformation at fracturing is significant, reaching even 40%, which suggests its degradation rate is higher than that of PLA. The addition of natural particles in both cases only slightly increases the biodegradation.

Keywords: Biocomposites, Storage, PHA, PLA

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3 Refinement of Thermal and Mechanical Properties of Poly (Lactic Acid)/Poly (Ethylene-Co-Glycidyle Methacrylate)/ Hexagonal Boron Nitride Blend-Composites through Electron-Beam Irradiation

Authors: Ashish Kumar, T. Venkatappa Rao, Subhendu Ray Chowdhury, S. V. S. Ramana Reddy


The main objective of this work is to determine the influence of electron beam irradiation on thermal and mechanical properties of Poly (lactic acid) (PLA)/Poly (ethylene-co-glycidyle methacrylate) (PEGM)/Hexagonal boron nitride (HBN) blend-composites. To reduce the brittleness and improve the toughness of PLA, the PLA/PEGM blend is prepared by using twin-screw Micro compounder. However, the heat deflection temperature (HDT) and other tensile properties were reduced. The HBN has been incorporated into the PLA/PEGM blend as part per hundred i.e. 5 phr and 10phr to improve the HDT. The prepared specimens of blend and blend-composites were irradiated to high energy (4.5 MeV) electron beam (E-beam) at different radiation doses to introduce the cross linking among the polymer chains and uniform dispersion of HBN particles in the PLA/PEGM/HBN blend-composites. The further improvement in the notched impact strength and HDT have been achieved in the case of PLA/PEGM/HBN blend-composites. The irradiated PLA/PEGM/HBN 5phr blend composite shows high notched impact strength and HDT as compared to other unirradiated and E-beam irradiated blend and blend-composites. The improvements in the yield strength and tensile modulus have also been noticed in the case of E-beam irradiated PLA/PEGM/HBN blend-composites as compared to unirradiated blend-composites.

Keywords: PLA, blend-composite, e-beam, HDT, PEGM

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2 MRI Compatible Fresnel Zone Plates made of Polylactic Acid

Authors: Sergio Pérez-López, Daniel Tarrazó-Serrano, Pilar Candelas, Constanza Rubio, Sergio Castiñeira-Ibáñez


Zone Plates (ZPs) are used in many areas of physics where planar fabrication is advantageous in comparison with conventional curved lenses. There are several types of ZPs, such as the well-known Fresnel ZPs or the more recent Fractal ZPs and Fibonacci ZPs. The material selection of the lens plays a very important role in the beam modulation control. This work presents a comparison between two Fresnel ZP made from different materials in the ultrasound domain: Polylactic Acid (PLA) and brass. PLA is the most common material used in commercial 3D-printers due to its high design flexibility and low cost. Numerical simulations based on Finite Element Method (FEM) and experimental results are shown, and they prove that the focusing capabilities of brass ZPs and PLA ZPs are similar. For this reason, PLA is proposed as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) compatible material with great potential for therapeutic ultrasound focusing applications.

Keywords: Ultrasound, MRI, Focus, PLA, FZP

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1 Creation of GaxCo1-xZnSe0.4 (x = 0.1, 0.3, 0.5) Nanoparticles Using Pulse Laser Ablation Method

Authors: Li Wang, Yong Pan, Xue Qiong Su, Dong Wen Gao


To date, nanomaterials have received extensive attention over the years because of their wide application. Various nanomaterials such as nanoparticles, nanowire, nanoring, nanostars and other nanostructures have begun to be systematically studied. The preparation of these materials by chemical methods is not only costly, but also has a long cycle and high toxicity. At the same time, preparation of nanoparticles of multi-doped composites has been limited due to the special structure of the materials. In order to prepare multi-doped composites with the same structure as macro-materials and simplify the preparation method, the GaxCo1-xZnSe0.4 (x = 0.1, 0.3, 0.5) nanoparticles are prepared by Pulse Laser Ablation (PLA) method. The particle component and structure are systematically investigated by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman spectra, which show that the success of our preparation and the same concentration between nanoparticles (NPs) and target. Morphology of the NPs characterized by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) indicates the circular-shaped particles in preparation. Fluorescence properties are reflected by PL spectra, which demonstrate the best performance in concentration of Ga0.3Co0.3ZnSe0.4. Therefore, all the results suggest that PLA is promising to prepare the multi-NPs since it can modulate performance of NPs.

Keywords: Physics, Nanoparticles, PLA, multi-doped

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