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Open Access Examination of a Biobased Carbon Nucleating Agent on Poly(lactic acid) Crystallization

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This article assesses the performance of a biobased carbon as a nucleator using common techniques to stimulate poly(lactic acid) crystallization and enhance the thermal stability of PLA during injection molding. The combination of a biodegradable plasticizer, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), along with biobased carbon-rich pyrolyzed biomass char residue and an industrially available microcrystalline talc, were tested for nucleating agent capabilities at additions of 10 wt%. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) data demonstrated that the inclusion of the plasticizer could increase the PLA crystalline content with further improvements when nucleating agent was present. With a higher mold temperature, the PLA crystallinity surpassed 40% for the multicomponent formulations. The thermomechanical properties including heat deflection temperature exhibited performance above 100 °C, while the coefficient of thermal expansion was lowered. Optical analysis of the crystal structure showed increased crystallization rate with plasticizer and nucleating agents. The mechanical properties and morphology characteristics are also presented.

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Keywords: BIOCARBON; CRYSTALLINITY; MOLD TEMPERATURE; TERTIARY COMPOSITE; THERMAL STABILITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2017

This article was made available online on 05 May 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Examination of a Biobased Carbon Nucleating Agent on Poly(lactic acid) Crystallization".

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  • The Journal of Renewable Materials (JRM) publishes high quality peer reviewed original research on macromolecules and additives obtained from renewable/biobased resources. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, JRM introduces cutting-edge research on biobased monomers, polymers, additives (both organic and inorganic), their blends and composites. It showcases both fundamental aspects and new applications for renewable materials. The fundamental theories and topics pertain to chemistry of biobased monomers, macromoners and polymers, their structure-property relationship, processing using sustainable methods, characterization (spectroscopic, morphological, thermal, mechanical, and rheological), bio and environmental degradation, and life cycle analysis. Demonstration of use of renewable materials and composites in applications including adhesives, bio and environmentally degradable structures, biomedicine, construction, electrical & electronics, mechanical, mendable and self-healing systems, optics, packaging, recycling, shape-memory, and stimulus responsive systems will be presented.
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