Cellulose-Enabled Polylactic Acid (PLA) Nanocomposites: Recent Developments and Emerging Trends

Chapter
Part of the Springer Series on Polymer and Composite Materials book series (SSPCM)

Abstract

Environmental consciousness, technology improvement, and stringent regulations have significantly increased the interest of biodegradable polymers in the industry in the past decade and polylactic acid (PLA) represents one of the most promising biopolymers. However, compared to the conventional petroleum-based polymers, owing to its inherent chemistry, PLA has relatively poor mechanical and thermal properties. To broaden its application, it becomes necessary to introduce inorganic/organic fillers into the biopolymer to meet the performance requirements and facilitate the processing. The use of nanoscale fillers is the strategy by exploiting the nature and properties of the nanoparticulates, such as huge surface area per mass, high aspect ratios, and low percolation threshold. Different inorganic particulates (e.g., nanoclay, nanosilica, carbon nanotubes, etc.) have been extensively studied. However, these added nanoparticulates are inorganic and pose considerable health risks from the manufacturing process to their final disposal. In contrast, nanocellulose, produced from renewable resources, has attracted great interest in recent years due to their sustainability and natural abundance. The combination of PLA and nanocelluloses results in a novel class of fully biorenewable resource-based composites. The recent developments and future trends (i.e., processing methods, various properties, and potential applications) of this novel nanocomposite have been discussed in this chapter.

Keywords

Cellulose nanofibers Cellulose nanocrystals Polylactic acid Nanocomposites Thermal properties Crystallization Barrier properties Mechanical properties 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Dan Ding
    • 1
    • 2
  • Muhammad Pervaiz
    • 2
  • Mohini Sain
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Industrial EngineeringUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing, Faculty of ForestryUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Centre of Advanced ChemistryKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia

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