Morphology of PLA/PBAT/PA ternary blends

Abstract : This work aims at achieving direct core-shell morphologies in ternary PLA/PBAT/PA polymer blends by melt mixing. The final goal is to improve the toughness of polylactic acid (PLA). The morphology of multi-phase polymer blends is controlled by the thermodynamics of the system. The morphology of ternary blends can be predicted from the relative values of the three spreading coefficients characterizing the triplet of polymers. Spreading coefficients are calculated from the values of interfacial tensions between binary components. The determination of interfacial tensions between a PLA, a poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) and a copolyamide (PA) predicts a complex dispersed morphology in the PLA matrix where PA subinclusions are partly encapsulated in the PBAT phase. This morphology was obtained by melt mixing the three components, as observed by scanning electron microscopy. In a second step, selective compatibilization was used to modify the PA sub-inclusion location. To this end, PBAT-b-PLA and PA-b-PBAT di-block copolymers were synthesized. The presence of the di-block copolymers enabled to modify the interfacial tension in PLA/PBAT and PA/PBAT. The modification of the interfacial tension balance was shown to successfully change the morphology from semi-encapsulation to full encapsulation of PA sub-inclusions in the PBAT drops. The mechanical performance of this ternary blend was evaluated.
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Yang Fu. Morphology of PLA/PBAT/PA ternary blends. Materials. PSL Research University, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017PSLEM068⟩. ⟨tel-01978343v2⟩

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