Toughening of Polylactide by Bio-Based and Petroleum-Based Thermoplastic Elastomers

Meyva Y., KAYNAK C.

INTERNATIONAL POLYMER PROCESSING, vol.30, no.5, pp.593-602, 2015 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.3139/217.3113
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.593-602


The purpose of this study was to improve toughness of inherently very brittle polylactide (PLA) without sacrificing strength and thermal properties, so that biopolymer PLA could be used in engineering applications. For this purpose, PLA was blended with various amounts of two different thermoplastic elastomers; TPU (petroleum-based thermoplastic polyurethane) and TPE (bio-based thermoplastic polyester). Melt blending and specimen shaping were achieved by using a twin-screw extruder and injection molder, respectively. SEM analysis indicated that TPU and TPE were immiscible forming fine and uniform round domains in the PLA matrix. It was revealed that rubber-toughening mechanisms of TPU and TPE were very effective. For instance, using only 10 phr of TPU or TPE increased Charpy impact toughness of PLA more than 300 %, while increases in fracture toughness (K-IC and G(IC)) values of PLA were as much as 35 % and 130 %, respectively. Other mechanical tests (tension, flexure, hardness) and thermal analyses (DSC) revealed that there were no significant detrimental effects of using 10 phr TPU or TPE on the engineering performance of PLA.