News Column

Findings from University of Mons Update Understanding of Nanocomposites

June 17, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly -- Current study results on Nanocomposites have been published. According to news reporting from Mons, Belgium, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "From the ecofriendly point of view, renewable and biodegradable polylactide (PLA) is considered as one of the best biobased polymers for many applications. However the use of PLA particularly in long-lasting applications like automotive, electronics and food packaging is restricted by its low crystallization ability/degree, impeding its industrial implementation."

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from the University of Mons, "In this work, we propose to combine two strategies, often used to overcome this drawback, that is, via addition of nanofillers such as nanoclays and PLA stereocomplexation in order to enhance the rigidity, thermal and gas-barrier properties of the polyester matrix. To enhance the dispersion of nanoclays, the 'grafting from' approach was thereby employed via in situ intercalative and metal-free ring-opening polymerization of L-lactide and D-lactide from the surface of a hydroxyl-functionalized organomodified montmorrilonite (i.e., Cloisite 30B). These nanohybrids were subsequently melt-blended with commercial PLA in order to obtain stereocomplexed (or not) PLA-based nanocomposites upon the stereochemistry of the nanohybricls. The morphology and dispersion of the resulting materials were examined by Wide-Angle X-ray Diffraction (WAXD) and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA), Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis (DMTA) were carried out to assess the thermo-mechanical performances of the nanocomposites. Moreover, their oxygen-barrier properties were also evaluated. The stereocomplex directly obtained by melt blending PLA and the bio-PDLA nanohybrid has both enhanced melting temperature (more than 40 degrees C) and storage modulus (higher than 60%) than those of commercial PLA. Moreover, the nanocomposites obtained show a significant improvement in oxygen-barrier properties."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "With homo-grafted blend and stereo-grafted blend strategy, the relative oxygen permeability was again reduced by, i.e. 41% and 46% respectively in comparison to PLA matrix."

For more information on this research see: Stereocomplexed PLA nanocomposites: From in situ polymerization to materials properties. European Polymer Journal, 2014;54():138-150. European Polymer Journal can be contacted at: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd, The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1GB, England. (Elsevier -; European Polymer Journal -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting G. Lo Re, Univ Mons, Center Innovat & Rech Mat Polymeres CIRMAP, Serv Mat Polymeres & Composites, B-7000 Mons, Belgium. Additional authors for this research include S. Benali, Y. Habibi, J.M. Raquez and P. Dubois (see also Nanocomposites).

Keywords for this news article include: Mons, Europe, Belgium, Chalcogens, Nanotechnology, Emerging Technologies

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Source: Life Science Weekly

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