Effect of halloysite nano tubes on the thermal degradation behaviour of PCL/PLA microfibrillar composites
This paper reports on the thermal degradation behaviour and kinetics of halloysite nanotubes containing microfibrillated poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL)/poly(lactic acid) (PLA) blends. It was found that the nanotubes probably catalyzed the PLA degradation, and that the free radicals formed during the PLA degradation initiated PCL degradation at lower temperatures, maybe in combination with halloysite nanotubes (HNT) catalysis. Drawing to form microfibrillated nanocomposites had little influence on the degradation behaviour of these materials, but pre-mixing of the HNT with PLA or PCL prior to melt-mixing and extrusion-drawing of the blends did influence the degradation behaviour, but in different ways. No evidence could be found that the presence and amount of HNT, or the mode of preparation, had an influence on the degradation mechanism, as evidenced through a Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) analysis of the degradation products.
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