Contribution of cellulose nanofibrils on the strengthening and toughening of neat and blended polylactide specimens; and the differences after 3D-printing


Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/08927057241241499
  • Journal Name: Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, INSPEC, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: 3-D printing, bio-based thermoplastic polyester elastomer, cellulose nanofibrils, compression molding, melt mixing, Polylactide
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The main purpose of this study was to use “green materials” approach by investigating effects of only 1 wt% Cellulose Nanofibrils (CNF) on the strengthening and toughening of neat and blended polylactide (PLA) biopolymer matrix. For this purpose, first of all effects of CNF were investigated in PLA/CNF biocomposite specimens. After blending of PLA with 10 phr bio-based thermoplastic polyester (b-TPE) elastomer, effects of CNF were investigated also for this PLA/b-TPE/CNF ternary biocomposite specimens. Mechanical tests revealed that due to the efficient strengthening and toughening mechanisms, CNF increased flexural strength of PLA by 33%, while b-TPE increased fracture toughness of PLA by 104%. When CNF and b-TPE were incorporated together, synergism in the strength and toughness values were occurred. All bioblend and biocomposite specimens were produced by using the same “melt mixing” technique in a laboratory size twin-screw extruder, and their test specimens were shaped by conventional “compression molding”. Since shaping by “3D-printing” is frequently used in the biomedical sectors, another distinctive aim of this study was to reveal whether there were any differences in the strength and toughness values of specimens after their 3D-printing. It was observed that due to the “textured” structure of 3D-printed specimens, their flexural strength values were approximately 20% lower, while fracture toughness values were approximately 20% higher.