Enhancing mechanical and thermal properties of PLLA ligaments with fumed silica nanoparticles and montmorillonite

Published on Jul 1, 2011in Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry2.731
· DOI :10.1007/S10973-010-1168-Z
Konstantinos Chrissafis43
Estimated H-index: 43
(A.U.Th.: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki),
Eleni Pavlidou38
Estimated H-index: 38
(A.U.Th.: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
+ 3 AuthorsDimitrios N. Bikiaris78
Estimated H-index: 78
(A.U.Th.: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
Nanocomposites of poly(l-lactic acid) (PLLA) containing 2.5 wt% of fumed silica nanoparticles (SiO2) and organically modified montmorillonite (OMMT) were prepared by solved evaporation method. From SEM micrographs it was observed that both nanoparticles were well dispersed into PLLA matrix. All nanocomposites exhibited higher mechanical properties compared to neat PLLA, except elongation at break, indicating that nanoparticles can act as efficient reinforcing agents. Nanoparticles affect, also, the thermal properties of PLLA and especially the crystallization rate, which in all nanocomposites is faster than that of neat PLLA. From the thermogravimetric curves it can be seen that neat PLLA nanocomposites present a relatively better thermostability than PLLA, and this was also verified from the calculation of activation energy (E). From the variation of E with increasing degree of conversion it was found that PLLA/nanocomposites decomposition takes place with a complex reaction mechanism, with the participation of two different mechanisms. The combination of models, nth order and nth order with autocatalysis (Fn–Cn), for PLLA and PLLA/OMMT as well as the combination of Fn–Fn for PLLA/SiO2 give the better results. For the PLLA/OMMT the values of the E for both mechanisms are higher than neat PLLA. For the PLLA/SiO2 nanocomposite the value of the E is higher than the corresponding value for PLLA, for the first area of mass loss, while the E of the second mechanism has a lower value.
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