Enhancement of Gas Barrier Properties and Durability of Poly(butylene succinate-co-butylene adipate)-Based Nanocomposites for Food Packaging Applications
Poly(butylene succinate-co-butylene adipate) (PBSA)-based materials are receiving growing attention in the packaging industry for their promising biodegradability. However, poor gas barrier properties and low durability of biodegradable polymers, such as PBSA, have limited their wide-spread use in food packaging applications. Here we report a scalable solution to improve gas barrier properties and stabilize PBSA against photo-aging, with minimal modifications to the biodegradable polymer backbone by using a commercially available and biocompatible layered double hydroxide (LDH) filler. We investigate and compare the mechanical, gas barrier, and photoaging properties of PBSA and PBSA-LDH nanocomposite films produced on a pilot scale. An increase in rigidity in the nanocomposite was observed upon addition of LDH fillers to neat PBSA, which direct the application of neat PBSA and PBSA-LDH nanocomposite to different food packaging applications. The addition of LDH fillers into neat PBSA improves the oxygen and water vapour barriers for the PBSA based nanocomposites, which increases the attractiveness of PBSA material in food packaging applications. Through changes in the viscoelastic behaviour, we observe an improved photo-durability of photoaged PBSA-LDH nanocomposites compared to neat PBSA. It is clear from our studies that the presence of LDH enhances the lifetime durability and modulates the photodegradation rate of the elaborated biocomposites.