Table of Contents
Indian Journal of Materials Science
Volume 2013, Article ID 816503, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/816503
Research Article

Enhancement of Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Polylactic Acid/Polycaprolactone Blends by Hydrophilic Nanoclay

1Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
2Department of Bioprocess Technology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
3Chemistry Department, Centre for Defence Foundation Studies, National Defence University of Malaysia, Kem Sungai Besi, 57000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Received 28 August 2013; Accepted 19 November 2013

Academic Editors: M. Jayachandran and M. Romero Pérez

Copyright © 2013 Chern Chiet Eng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The effects of hydrophilic nanoclay, Nanomer PGV, on mechanical properties of Polylactic Acid (PLA)/Polycaprolactone (PCL) blends were investigated and compared with hydrophobic clay, Montmorillonite K10. The PLA/PCL/clay composites were prepared by melt intercalation technique and the composites were characterized by X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Dynamic Mechanical Analysis (DMA), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM). FTIR spectra indicated that formation of hydrogen bond between hydrophilic clay with the matrix. XRD results show that shifting of basal spacing when clay incorporated into polymer matrix. TEM micrographs reveal the formation of agglomerate in the composites. Based on mechanical properties results, addition of clay Nanomer PGV significantly enhances the flexibility of PLA/PCL blends about 136.26%. TGA showed that the presence of clay improve thermal stability of blends. DMA show the addition of clay increase storage modulus and the presence of clay Nanomer PGV slightly shift two of blends become closer suggest that the presence of clay slightly compatibilizer the PLA/PCL blends. SEM micrographs revealed that presence of Nanomer PGV in blends influence the miscibility of the blends. The PLA/PCL blends become more homogeneous and consist of single phase morphology.