Effects of Halloysite Nanotubes on the Performance of Plasticized Poly(lactic acid)-Based Composites

Erpek C. E. Y. , ÖZKOÇ G., YILMAZER Ü.

POLYMER COMPOSITES, vol.37, no.11, pp.3134-3148, 2016 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 37 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/pc.23511
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.3134-3148


The objective of this study is processing and characterization of Halloysite nanotube (HNT)/poly(lactic acid) (PLA) nanocomposites. As HNT filler, a domestic source was used (ESAN HNT). The results obtained from this HNT were compared with a well-known reference HNT (Nanoclay HNT). To achieve the desired physical properties and clay dispersion, composites were compounded via direct melt mixing in a laboratory twin-screw compounder. However, the constituents were observed to be incompatible without a compatibilizer. To improve the flexibility of nanocomposites and provide compatibilization between PLA and HNT, two types of blends were prepared: PLA plasticized with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) denoted as P-PLA and PLA toughened with a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) denoted as T-PLA. Despite the limited improvement in the P-PLA blends, TPU addition improved the flexibility of PLA/HNT without deteriorating the tensile strength in a great manner. This was attributed to the relatively better compatibilization effect of TPU and the role of nanotubes acting as bridges between the TPU and PLA phases. (C) 2015 Society of Plastics Engineers