Study of Interphase in Polylactic Acid and Cellulose Nanocrystal Composite Films Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qz20sv795

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  • Polylactic acid (PLA), a renewable material, is used widely in a variety of commercial and specialty applications. However, certain limitations such as high temperature stability and brittleness limit its applicability. This problem is addressed by reinforcing PLA with a variety of materials but the process gives rise to different issues in compatibilization due to differences in polarity of materials. In this research, surface of cellulose nanocrystals (CNC's) is modified with lactic acid and lactic acid oligomers and are then incorporated into bulk PLA matrix to form nanocomposite films via solvent casting. This thesis includes verification of grafting reactions onto CNC surface via elemental analysis and solid state NMR along with dispersion studies by SEM imaging. The nanocomposite properties are studied with increasing filler content and type of surface modification and a comparison is made with unfilled PLA films. The interphase between the filler and the matrix is studied by evaluating the mechanical properties and trends are established with reference to the graft length. In addition, DSC and TGA analysis of some composites is included to study any deviations in thermal behavior from expected trends
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