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Peculiar Morphologies Obtained for 80/20 PLA/PA11 Blend with Small Amounts of Fumed Silica

Abstract : This work highlights the possibility of obtaining peculiar morphologies by adding fumed silica into 80/20 polylactic acid/polyamide11 (PLA/PA11) blends. Two kinds of fumed silica (A200 and trimethoxyoctylsilane modified R805 fumed silica) were dispersed (by twin-screw extrusion, TSE) at a weight amount of 5% in neat PLA, neat PA11 and a 80/20 PLA/PA11 blend. Thermal Gravimetric Analysis (TGA) was used to verify this 5 wt % amount. Oscillatory shear rheology tests were conducted on all the formulations: (1) on neat polymer nanocomposites (PLASi5, PLASiR5, PA11Si5, PA11SiR5); and (2) on polymer blend nanocomposites (PLA80Si5 and PLA80SiR5). Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM), Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (STEM), Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) characterizations and laser granulometry were conducted. Microscopic analysis performed on polymer blend nanocomposites evidenced a localization of A200 silica in the PA11 dispersed phase and R805 silica at the PLA/PA11 interface. Frequency sweep tests on neat polymer nanocomposites revealed a pronounced gel-like behavior for PLASi5 and PA11SiR5, evidencing a high dispersion of A200 in PLA and R805 in PA11. A yield behavior was also evidenced for both PLA80Si5 and PLA80SiR5 blends. For the blend nanocomposites, PA11 dispersed phases were elongated in the presence of A200 silica and a quasi-co-continuous morphology was observed for PLA80Si5, whereas PLA80SiR5 exhibits bridges of silica nanoparticles between the PA11 dispersed phases.
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Damien Rasselet, Monica Pucci, A. S. Caro-Bretelle, J. Lopez-Cuesta, Aurélie Taguet. Peculiar Morphologies Obtained for 80/20 PLA/PA11 Blend with Small Amounts of Fumed Silica. Nanomaterials, MDPI, 2021, 11 (7), pp.1721. ⟨10.3390/nano11071721⟩. ⟨hal-03277752⟩

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