[en] Polylactide (PLA)/clay nanocomposites have been prepared by in situ ring-opening polymerization in supercritical carbon dioxide. Depending on the type of organoclay used, polylactide chains can be grafted onto the clay surface, leading to an exfoliated morphology. Nanocomposites with high clay contents (30–50 wt.%), called masterbatches, have also been successfully prepared and were recovered as fine powders thanks to the unique properties of the supercritical fluid. Dilution of these masterbatches into commercial l-polylactide by melt blending has led to essentially exfoliated nanocomposites containing 3 wt.% of clay. The mechanical properties of these materials have been assessed by flexion and impact tests. Significant improvements of stiffness and toughness have been observed for the PLA/clay nanocomposites compared to the pure matrix, together with improved impact resistance.
Center for Education and Research on Macromolecules (CERM)
The "Région Wallonne" in the frame of the "WINNOMAT" program "PROCOMO" ; Politique Scientifique Fédérale (Belgique) = Belgian Federal Science Policy ; Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS