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Free Content Injection-Molded Solid and Microcellular Polylactide and Polylactide Nanocomposites

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Microcellular injection molding is capable of producing lightweight, dimensionally stable plastic components with less material and energy. This process allows the material to be processed at lower temperatures and pressures, making it suitable for temperature-sensitive biobased plastics and/or additives. This paper presents the effects of adding montmorillonite nanoclay (Cloisite®20A and Cloisite®30B) on the mechanical properties (specific modulus, specific tensile strength, specific toughness, and strain at break) of both solid and microcellular polylactide components, as well as their effects on the cell morphology of the microcellular components. In general, the addition of nanoclay into biobased polylactide improved the specific moduli of both solid and microcellular components and facilitated the formation of smaller cell sizes and higher cell densities. Adding nanoclay also reduced the strain at break and the specific toughness of solid polylactide nanocomposite components. However, the strain at break and specific toughness of microcellular polylactide nanocomposite components were largely improved in comparison with microcellular polylactide components, especially when the loading level of the nanoclay was at 3% and 5%, presumably due to the lack of large voids, as well as the smaller cell size and higher cell density.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2007

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  • The goal of the creation of a biobased economy is challenging to agriculture, forestry, academia, government and industry. The extractable resources of the Earth are finite, regardless of the quibble over when they will be depleted. The economic, political and social demands for biobased chemicals, materials and energy are expected to radically transform the materials industries, particularly the plastics industry as well as the biofuel industry. These changes will be based on the principles of sustainability, eco-efficiency, industrial ecology, and green chemistry and engineering. In keeping with the growth of knowledge in this field, there is a strong need for a forum to share original research related to biobased materials and bioenergy. The Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy (JBMB) has been created as an international peer-reviewed periodical to fulfill the need for communication in these research areas. This journal will encompass related research activities in all fields of science, engineering and the life sciences.
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