The effect of triethyl citrate on the dispersibility and water vapor sorption behavior of polylactic acid/zeolite composites

Miji Lee, Bich Nam Jung, Gi Hong Kim, Dong Ho Kang, Hyun Jin Park, Jin Kie Shim, Sung Wook Hwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the water vapor adsorption behavior and mechanical properties of poly (lactic acid) (PLA)/zeolite (5, 10, or 15 phr) composites prepared with triethyl citrate (TEC; 20 phr) via a melting process. TEC was used to improve the flexibility of the PLA and the dispersibility of the zeolite in TEC-zeolite suspensions that were ultra-sonicated. It was found that zeolite was uniformly dispersed in the PLA matrix, and the interfacial adhesion between the PLA matrix and zeolite was enhanced by TEC. In addition, the tensile strengths and Young's modulus of the composites improved with increasing zeolite content. The PLA/zeolite composites prepared with TEC had increased water vapor permeability and contact angles compared to neat PLA and standard PLA/zeolite due to the presence of TEC. In particular, TEC accelerated the hydrolysis of the PLA surface in a high humidity environment, resulting in an improvement in water vapor sorption capacity. At the same zeolite content of 15 phr, the equilibrium moisture content (EMC) values of PLA/zeolite films prepared with TEC increased by up to 39.25 mg/g whereas those prepared without TEC only increased by up to 24.33 mg/g. The results suggest the possibility of applying PLA/zeolite films prepared with TEC as a flexible active packaging material.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106571
JournalPolymer Testing
Volume89
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sep

Keywords

  • Dispersibility
  • Polylactic acid
  • Triethyl citrate
  • Water vapor sorption
  • Zeolite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics

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