Crystallization kinetics behavior and morphology of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) blended with of 2-10 wt% loadings of poly(L- and D-lactic acid) (PLLA and PDLA) stereocomplex crystallites, as biodegradable nucleating agents, were studied using differential scanning calorimetry, polarizing-light optical microscopy (POM), and wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD). Blending PLLA with PDLA at 1:1 weight ratio led to formation of stereocomplexed PLA (sc-PLA), which was incorporated as small crystalline nuclei into PHB for investigating melt-crystallization kinetics. The Avrami equation was used to analyze the isothermal crystallization of PHB. The stereocomplexed crystallites acted as nucleation sites in blends and accelerated the crystallization rates of PHB by increasing the crystallization rate constant k and decreasing the half-time (t 1/2). The PHB crystallization was nucleated most effectively with 10 wt% stereocomplexed crystallites, as evidenced byPOM results. The sc-PLA complexes (nucleated PHB crystals) exhibit much small spherulite sizes but possess the same crystal cell morphology as that of neat PHB based on the WAXD result.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Polymers and Plastics
- Materials Chemistry