Blending of Low-Density Polyethylene and Poly(Butylene Succinate) (LDPE/PBS) with Polyethylene&ndash;Graft&ndash;Maleic Anhydride (PE&ndash;g&ndash;MA) as a Compatibilizer on the Phase Morphology, Mechanical and Thermal Properties
It is of significant concern that the buildup of non-biodegradable plastic waste in the environment may result in long-term issues with the environment, the economy and waste management. In this study, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) was compounded with different contents of poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) at 10&ndash;50 wt.%, to evaluate the potential of replacing commercial plastics with a biodegradable renewable polymer, PBS for packaging applications. The morphological, mechanical and thermal properties of the LDPE/PBS blends were examined in relation to the effect of polyethylene&ndash;graft&ndash;maleic anhydride (PE&ndash;g&ndash;MA) as a compatibilizer. LDPE/PBS/PE&ndash;g&ndash;MA blends were fabricated via the melt blending method using an internal mixer and then were compression molded into test samples. The presence of LDPE, PBS and PE&ndash;g&ndash;MA individually in the matrix for each blend presented physical interaction between the constituents, as shown by Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The morphology of LDPE/PBS/PE&ndash;g&ndash;MA blends showed improved compatibility and homogeneity between the LDPE matrix and PBS phase. Compatibilized LDPE/PBS blends showed an improvement in the tensile strength, with 5 phr of compatibilizer providing the optimal content. The thermal stability of LDPE/PBS blends decreased with higher PBS content and the thermal stability of compatibilized blends was higher in contrast to the uncompatibilized blends. Therefore, our research demonstrated that the partial substitution of LDPE with a biodegradable PBS and the incorporation of the PE&ndash;g&ndash;MA compatibilizer could develop an innovative blend with improved structural, mechanical and thermal properties.
Publication date: 04/01/2023
Author: Aina Aqila Arman Alim
Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym15020261