(395d) Effects of Adding Chain Extender on the Properties of Injection-Molded Solid and Microcellular Polylactide

Gong, S. (., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Turng, L., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Kramschuster, A., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Yang, L., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Lee, J., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Pilla, S., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The effects of adding epoxy-based chain-extender on the properties of injection-molded solid and microcellular polylactide (PLA) were studied. PLA and PLA with 8 wt% chain-extender (PLA-CE) were melt-compounded using a twin-screw extruder. Solid and microcellular specimens were produced via a conventional and microcellular injection molding process, respectively. Various characterization techniques were applied to study the static and dynamic mechanical properties, cell morphology, and crystallization behavior. The addition of chain-extender reduced the cell size and increased the cell density in the microcellular specimens. It also decreased the crystallinity of PLA and increased the decomposition temperature. In addition, adding chain-extender slightly enhanced the average values of specific strength, specific toughness, and strain-at-break for both solid and microcellular PLA specimens.