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The goal of this work was to investigate the morphological and chemical–physical changes induced by adding ZnO nanoparticles to bio-based polymeric materials based on polylactic acid (PLA) and polyamide 11 (PA11). Precisely, the photo- and water-degradation phenomena of nanocomposite materials were monitored. For this purpose, the formulation and characterization of novel bio-nanocomposite blends based on PLA and PA11 at a ratio of 70/30 wt.% filled with zinc oxide (ZnO) nanostructures at different percentages were performed. The effect of ZnO nanoparticles (≤2 wt.%) within the blends was thoroughly explored by employing thermogravimetry (TGA), size exclusion chromatography (SEC), matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM and TEM). Adding up to 1% wt. of ZnO resulted in a higher thermal stability of the PA11/PLA blends, with a decrement lower than 8% in terms of molar masses (MMs) values being obtained during blend processing at 200 °C. ZnO promoted trans-ester-amide reactions between the two polymers, leading to the formation of PLA/PA11 copolymers. These species could work as compatibilisers at the polymer interface, improving thermal and mechanical properties. However, the addition of higher quantities of ZnO affected such properties, influencing the photo-oxidative behaviour and thus thwarting the material’s application for packaging use. The PLA and blend formulations were subjected to natural aging in seawater for two weeks under natural light exposure. The 0.5% wt. ZnO sample induced …
Publication date: 
14 Mar 2023

Roberta Puglisi, Andrea Antonino Scamporrino, Nadka Tzankova Dintcheva, Giovanni Filippone, Elena Bruno, Paola Scarfato, Pierfrancesco Cerruti, Sabrina Carola Carroccio

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Volume: 15 Issue: 6 Pages: 1434