Processability and Mechanical Properties of Thermoplastic Polylactide/Polyhydroxybutyrate (PLA/PHB) Bioblends
This work considers the application of eco-friendly, biodegradable materials based on polylactide (PLA) and polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB), instead of conventional polymeric materials, in order to prevent further environmental endangerment by accumulation of synthetic petro-materials. This new approach to the topic is focused on analyzing the processing properties of blends without incorporating any additives that could have a harmful impact on human organisms, including the endocrine system. The main aim of the research was to find the best PLA/PHB ratio to obtain materials with desirable mechanical, processing and application properties. Therefore, two-component polymer blends were prepared by mixing different mass ratios of PLA and PHB (100/0, 50/10, 50/20, 40/30, 50/50, 30/40, 20/50, 10/50 and 0/100 mass ratio) using an extrusion process. The prepared blends were analyzed in terms of thermal and mechanical properties as well as miscibility and surface characteristics. Taking into account the test results, the PLA/PHB blend with a 50/10 ratio turned out to be most suitable in terms of mechanical and processing properties. This blend has the potential to become a bio-based and simultaneously biodegradable material safe for human health dedicated for the packaging industry.