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Morphological and Properties Characterization of Melt-Spun Poly(Lactic Acid)/Cellulose Nanowhiskers Fibers: Effect of Filler Content
* 1 , 2, 3
1  University of Bejaia
2  Faculté des Sciences et de la Technologie, Université Yahia Farès, Médéa 26000, Algeria
3  Laboratoire des Matériaux Polymères Avancés, Université de Bejaia 06000, Algeria


In recent years, much attention has been paid to biopolymers as an answer to the environmental issues and to the depletion of fossil resources. However, the application of biopolymers is often limited by their poorly mechanical and thermal properties. In order to be competitive to petroleum based polymers, they need to be modified. The attraction for cellulose nanowhiskers (CNW) as fillers in polymer matrices has largely increased due to the unique combination of their impressive mechanical properties with their high aspect ratio. Indeed, CNW offer many advantages such as high reactivity, renewability, biodegradability and natural abundance. Poly(lactic acid) (PLA) is one of the most representative bio-based and biodegradable polymers. However, some of its properties, like flexural properties and gas permeability are too low for widespread applications. The production of PLA/CNW bionanocomposites could be therefore, an efficient route to extend their utilization in many fields, with the possibility to adjust properties by filler content adjustment. In the field of textiles, the electrospinning process of various polymers filled with CNW is well documented including various polymeric matrices. Nevertheless, the need to develop new processing techniques, as an extension of conventional plastics industry, remains an important challenge. In this paper, melt spinning process was used to elaborate both neat PLA and PLA/CNW bionanocomposite fibers filled at 1 and 3 wt% in the presence of PLA-grafted-Maleic anhydride (PLA-g-MA) used as the compatibilizer at 7 wt%. The morphology and thermo-mechanical properties of the samples were investigated with respect to filler content ratio. PLA/CNW1 bionanocomposite fibers led to the best results compared to those filled at 3 wt%. Indeed at 1 wt%, SEM showed that CNW were homogeneously dispersed in the PLA matrix compared to 3 wt% loading and almost 18% increase in elongation at maximum force were obtained compared to neat PLA. In addition, a better thermal stability to PLA was observed.

Keywords: Poly(lactic acid); Cellulose nanowhiskers; Bionanocomposites; Melt spinning; Fibers
Comments on this paper
Ana Maria Diez-Pascual
Comment on 10.3390/CGPM2020-07184
Very nice topic. How did you optimize the compatibilizer and the filler loading?
Mustapha Kaci
In nanocomposites fibers technology, since the diameter of the fibers is small (micro or nanometric scale), the fillers aspect ratio is a very important factor; it can affect the processability and properties of the spun fibers. The nano-sized reinforcement is recommended to improve the spinnability and surface finish of the fibers. In addition, the incorporation of additives in fibers, even at low content (i.e., <5 wt.%), is challenging because it can lead to spin-line failures. These are the reasons why we used 1 and 3wt% of CNW.
On the other hand, The PLA yarns were prepared in the presence of PLA-g-MA compatibilizer added at 7 wt.%. You should know that in the compatibilizer content, only 3 wt% of maleic anhydre unit (MA) were grafted. This ratio was based on literature data.
Any other quastions, please, you are welcome.