Biodegradable Polymer Materials Based on Polyethylene and Natural Rubber: Acquiring, Investigation, Properties
The growing amount of synthetic polymeric materials is a great environmental problem that has to be solved as soon as possible. The main factor aggravating this problem is the abundance of products made from traditional synthetic polymer, such as packaging materials, cases, containers and other equipment with a short period of use, which quickly turns into polymer waste that pollutes the ecosystem for decades. In this paper, we consider the possibility of solving this problem by the development of biodegradable compositions based on polyolefins and elastomers. The addition of a natural component (natural rubber) to the matrix of the synthetic polymeric (polyethylene) leads to the significant changes in structure and properties of the material. Different aspects of mixing semicrystalline and amorphous polymers are discussed in the article. It was shown that addition of 10&ndash;50% wt. of the elastomers to the synthetic polymer increases wettability of the material, slightly reduces the mechanical properties, significantly affects the supramolecular structure of the crystalline phase of polyethylene and initiates microbiological degradation. In particular, in this work, the acquisition, structure and properties of biodegradable binary composites based on low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and natural rubber (NR) were studied. It has been shown that such compositions are biodegradable in soil under standard conditions.