Studies on the reactive blending of poly(lactic acid) and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene rubber
The polymer materials industry is heavily dependent on the use of petroleum based plastics. This poses a problem, as the world is facing ongoing petroleum supply problems. A need exists for a bio-carbon based polymer material that has the performance and cost of currently used petroleum plastics. However, the overall performance of current bio-based plastics indicate that they must be somehow supplemented to achieve the properties of that of petroleum-based polymers. The low impact strength and thermal stability of poly(lactic acid), PLA are targets for improvement. One option is for development is through blending with acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). The viability and efficacy of using these two polymers as blending partners is investigated. The PLA used in these studies has unique and interesting crystallization properties. These have been examined and detailed in part 1. The second part of study includes neat polymer properties, miscibility analysis, and large scale process results. This results in an optimized blending ratio on which to go forward with development. The mechanical, thermal, and morphological properties are investigated in these studies. Significance of this research and development is widespread, as the material developed has the potential to reduce the use of petroleum-based carbon in plastics.