Carbohydrate polymers

Fracture behavior of a commercial starch/polycaprolactone blend reinforced with different layered silicates.

PMID 23911445


In the present work, composites based on a commercial starch/PCL blend (MaterBi-Z) reinforced with three different nanoclays: natural montmorillonite (Cloisite Na(+) (MMT)) and two modified montmorillonites (Cloisite 30B (C30B) and Cloisite 10A (C10A)) were prepared in an intensive mixer. The aim of this investigation was to determine the effect of the different nanoclays on the quasi-static fracture behavior of MaterBi-Z nanocomposites. An improvement in the fracture behavior for the composite with low contents of C30B was obtained, probably due to the easy debonding of clay achieved from a relatively weak filler-matrix interaction. On the other hand, a strong interaction had a detrimental effect on the material fracture toughness for the MaterBi-Z/C10A composites as a result of the higher compatibility of this organo-modified clay with the hydrophobic matrix. Intermediate values of fracture toughness, determined using the J-integral approach (Jc), were found for the composites with MMT due to its intermediate interaction with the matrix. The different filler-matrix interactions observed were also confirmed from the application of Pukánszky and Maurer model. In addition, multifractal analysis was applied to describe the topography of fracture surfaces. Thus, the complex fracture process could be successfully described by both experimental and theoretical tools. The obtained results suggest that it is possible to tailor the mechanical properties of the studied composites taking into account their further application.

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