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Foaming of PLA Composites by Supercritical Fluid-Assisted Processes: A Review

Abstract : Polylactic acid (PLA) is a well-known and commercially available biopolymer that can be produced from different sources. Its different characteristics generated a great deal of interest in various industrial fields. Besides, its use as a polymer matrix for foam production has increased in recent years. With the rise of technologies that seek to reduce the negative environmental impact of processes, chemical foaming agents are being substituted by physical agents, primarily supercritical fluids (SCFs). Currently, the mass production of low-density PLA foams with a uniform cell morphology using SCFs as blowing agents is a challenge. This is mainly due to the low melt strength of PLA and its slow crystallization kinetics. Among the different options to improve the PLA characteristics, compounding it with different types of fillers has great potential. This strategy does not only have foaming advantages, but can also improve the performances of the final composites, regardless of the implemented foaming process, i.e., batch, injection molding, and extrusion. In addition, the operating conditions and the characteristics of the fillers, such as their size, shape factor, and surface chemistry, play an important role in the final foam morphology. This article proposes a critical review on the different SCF-assisted processes and effects of operating conditions and fillers on foaming of PLA composites.
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Submitted on : Monday, August 10, 2020 - 8:06:11 AM
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Jennifer Villamil Jiménez, Nicolas Le Moigne, Jean-Charles Bénézet, Martial Sauceau, Romain Sescousse, et al.. Foaming of PLA Composites by Supercritical Fluid-Assisted Processes: A Review. Molecules, MDPI, 2020, 25 (15), pp.1-40/3408. ⟨10.3390/molecules25153408⟩. ⟨hal-02913568⟩

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