Insights of PHB/QC Biocomposites: Thermal, Tensile and Morphological Properties


In the present work composites based on poly (hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) and quasi-crystals (Al62.0Cu25.5Fe12.5) (QC), i.e., PHB/QC were processed aiming at biodegradable compounds with improved performance. According to the particle size evaluation and scanning electron microscopy images the added QC phase presented particle diameters with approximately 5 µm which conducted to homogeneously dispersed higher composites hardness, as evidenced through Shore D Hardness testing and SEM images. QC improved PHB melting and delayed decomposition without losses on the thermal stability. The elastic modulus increased upon QC addition whereas subtle decrease was verified in the elongation at break mechanisms. Summing up, harder and thermal stable PHB/QC composites were produced which may be used for applications where biodegradable and biocompatible characters are requested.

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  1. 1.

    β phase is a solid solution with composition Al50-x (Cu, Fe) 50 + x which coexists with QC phase when the applied processing does not provide enough thermodynamic conditions for producing only QC phase [19].

    According to Dubois 2000 [20], the crystalline phase β and quasicrystalline Ψ are close phases, when β phase is found in small quantities as is the present case it does not interfere on QC properties.

  2. 2.

    QC phase displays high hardness (HV ≈ 1000) and high ability for elastic recovery (H/E > 0.08), nevertheless exhibit low toughness against un stable fracture (KIC≈ 1 MPa m12) [25].


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The authors would like to thank PHB Brazil for supplying the PHB; to CNPq and CAPES for financial support. Prof Dulce Maria de Araújo Melo and Prof Renate Wellen are CNPq fellows.

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Correspondence to R. M. R. Wellen.

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Fernandes, M.R.P., França, T.S., Queiroz, I.X. et al. Insights of PHB/QC Biocomposites: Thermal, Tensile and Morphological Properties. J Polym Environ (2020).

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  • PHB
  • Quasi-crystals
  • Thermal
  • Tensile and morphological properties