The microstructure and thermomechanical behaviour of a novel fully biodegradable polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH)-based single-polymer composite (SPC) is presented. Three kinds of PVOH stapled fibres, having different melting temperatures and tensile mechanical properties, were considered as a reinforcement, whilst plasticized PVOH granules were selected as a continuous matrix. Calorimetric tests on the constituents showed significantly different melting temperatures between the matrix and the fibres, thus evidencing adequate processing windows for the preparation of SPCs. On the other hand, scanning electron microscopy on the cryofractured surfaces of melt-mixed and compression-moulded SPCs experimentally proved that the morphological integrity of the reinforcement was maintained only when high melting temperature fibres were utilized. Quasi-static mechanical tensile tests highlighted the capability of the selected PVOH fibres to remarkably increase the elastic modulus, the stress at yield and the Vicat softening temperature of the PVOH matrix. Moreover, dynamic storage modulus and glass transition temperature of SPC increased with respect to the neat PVOH over the whole range of considered temperatures, whilst short-term creep stability was strongly improved, proportionally to the fibre content. The application of a time-temperature superposition principle to creep data confirmed the effectiveness of these fibres in increasing the long-term creep stability of the resulting materials.

Biodegradable single-polymer composites from polyvinyl alcohol

Dorigato, Andrea;Pegoretti, Alessandro
2012

Abstract

The microstructure and thermomechanical behaviour of a novel fully biodegradable polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH)-based single-polymer composite (SPC) is presented. Three kinds of PVOH stapled fibres, having different melting temperatures and tensile mechanical properties, were considered as a reinforcement, whilst plasticized PVOH granules were selected as a continuous matrix. Calorimetric tests on the constituents showed significantly different melting temperatures between the matrix and the fibres, thus evidencing adequate processing windows for the preparation of SPCs. On the other hand, scanning electron microscopy on the cryofractured surfaces of melt-mixed and compression-moulded SPCs experimentally proved that the morphological integrity of the reinforcement was maintained only when high melting temperature fibres were utilized. Quasi-static mechanical tensile tests highlighted the capability of the selected PVOH fibres to remarkably increase the elastic modulus, the stress at yield and the Vicat softening temperature of the PVOH matrix. Moreover, dynamic storage modulus and glass transition temperature of SPC increased with respect to the neat PVOH over the whole range of considered temperatures, whilst short-term creep stability was strongly improved, proportionally to the fibre content. The application of a time-temperature superposition principle to creep data confirmed the effectiveness of these fibres in increasing the long-term creep stability of the resulting materials.
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Dorigato, Andrea; Pegoretti, Alessandro
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11572/88852
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