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Development of Novel Blown Shrink Films from Poly(Lactide)/Poly(Butylene-Adipate-co-Terephthalate) Blends for Sustainable Food Packaging Applications

Heat-shrinkable films, largely made of polyolefins and widely employed in the packaging sector as collation or barrier films, due to their short service life, are held responsible for high environmental impact. One possible strategy for reduction in their carbon footprint can be the use of biodegradable polymers. Thus, this work aimed to develop novel, heat-shrinkable, fully biodegradable films for green packaging applications and to analyze their functional performance. Films were obtained from blends of amorphous polylactic acid (PLA) and poly(butylene-adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) at different mass ratios and compatibilized with a chain extender. They were produced by means of a lab-scale film blowing extrusion apparatus and characterized in terms of physical–mechanical properties and shrinkability. The influence of the processing parameters during the extrusion blowing process on the films’ behavior was investigated, highlighting the effects of blend composition and stretching drawing conditions. Shrinkage tests demonstrated that the produced films have shrinkability values in the typical range of mono-oriented films (ca. 60–80% in machine direction and ca. 10–20% in transverse direction). Moreover, the shrinkage in machine direction increases both with the mass flow rate, the take-up ratio to blow-up ratio and the bubble cooling of the film blowing process, and with the PLA content into the blend. In particular, films at higher PLA content also exhibit higher transparency and stiffness.

Publication date: 06/07/2022

Author: Arianna Pietrosanto

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym14142759

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.