Polylactic acid plastic film

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Polylactic acid PLA is one of the highly applicable bio-polymers in a wide variety of applications including medical fields and packaging. In order to quantitatively model the mechanical behavior of PLA and PLA based bio-composite materials, and also tailor new bio-composites, it is required to characterize the mechanical behavior of PLA.

In this study, thin films of PLA are fabricated via hot-pressing, and tensile experiments are performed under different strain rates. To model the mechanical behavior, an elasto-viscoplastic constitutive model, developed in a finite strain setting, is adopted and calibrated. Using the physically-based constitutive model, all regimes of deformation under uniaxial stress state, including post-yield softening, were adequately captured in the simulations. Also, the rate dependency of the stress—strain behavior was properly modelled.

PLA is a biodegradable thermoplastic derived from totally renewable resources such as sugar beets and corn. It decomposes to water, carbon dioxide and humus the black material in soil Drumright et al. Besides, PLA has interesting mechanical properties such as high stiffness and high strength compared to many synthetic polymers Averett et al. Physical and mechanical properties of PLA are extensively discussed by Farah et al.

The reader interested in the rheological and thermal properties of PLA and also polimerization process of PLA is referred to GarlottaHamad et al.

Also, the already existing manufacturing equipments for petrochemical polymers can be used for PLA as well.

polylactic acid plastic film

Therefore, PLA is proving to be a potential alternative to replace petroleum-derived polymers Drumright et al. Currently, PLA is used in a variety of bio-medical applications as well such as dialysis media and drug delivery devices Averett et al.

For a review of the potential applications of PLA in different medical fields such as tissue engineering, see Hamad et al. Following from rising consciousness about environmental issues and the important need of sustainability, the recent decade has seen considerable developments of bio-composite materials AL-Oqla and Omari ; Mantia and Morreale to replace composites from synthetic matrices and fibres.

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In order to use PLA either neat or in a reinforced state properly and efficiently, it is necessary to characterize the mechanical properties among other properties. Also, to tailor new bio-composite materials with specific desired properties it is necessary to characterize and model the constituents quantitatively.

Rezgui et al. Tensile experiments were performed by a video-controlled materials testing system and true stresses and true strains were obtained. Averett et al. Also, fatigue behavior of these materials were experimentally investigated. Qiu et al. Not only could PLA be used in a neat form, it could also be considered as an alternative for synthetic polymers for the matrix of composite materials.Concurrently, a new, but similar, product application was identified that could increase the volume sales of the biobased material under development.

The test proved that the material could be thermoformed from a sheet material to produce containers or various packaging products. To continue the manufacturing process and product development in these applications, it was determined that larger volumes of material needed to be compounded and then sheeted to produce full-scale samples.

A contract compounding facility was identified that could perform a lb run, an adequate volume to perform a trial on a full scale film sheeting line 48 inch width. Another facility was identified to perform the full scale sheeting trial run.

The compounding trial was conducted and sheeting trial followed.

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Unfortunately, the full scale sheeting trial was not able to produce any usable sheet or film product. The material over heated in the extruder and was not able to form a continuous sheet. The lab extruder was also not able to produce any film or sheet product. It was determined there were several causes to the manufacturing difficulties, both related to the compounding process and the sheeting extruder set up.

This material was then sheeted on a processing line better suited for the biobased material. The adjustments, although not perfect, provided for sheet that is capable of being tested by various potential market participants. Resultantly, the material has been offered to several market participants that are looking for replacement materials for various plastic based agricultural products.

Impacts The results from this project demonstrated some of the challenges of moving the production process toward full manufacturing scale. While the first sequence of the scale up was not successful, there were several key learnings that were used to adjust both the compounding and sheeting process. The second trial run of compounding and sheeting helped to move the biobased material another step closer to manufacturability and it provided samples that could be field tested at actual scale.

Although the final manufacturing process will need to be refined slightly depending on the intended end use for the material, this project has proved that the material can be produced economically on standard machinery and with the added benefit that it has been proven to be able to be thermoformed from a sheet material to produce containers or various packaging products.

Publications No publications reported this period. Thin plastic films typically polyethylene are spread over the soil in rows at the beginning of the growing season. The use of mulch films speed the ripening of crops, conserves moisture and fertilizer, and inhibits weed growth, fungus infection and insect infestation. At the end of the growing season generally months the film, contaminated with dirt and vegetation, must be collected, transported and disposed.

As the use of mulch films becomes more common, the disposal of the polyethylene film becomes a significant waste problem and expense.

During the first period of this Phase II research project, the primary focus has been to scale-up the compounding and film production techniques of the biodegradable polymer blend to industrial size extrusion equipment. During the initial attempts, this proved to be a challenge because of the 3 different physical forms of material addition, pellet, powder and liquid; and the blend is sensitive to moisture content and excess shear forces. However, a compounding procedure and extruder configuration was development that successfully processed the material at a suitable production rate.

Film gauges nearly half of that achieved during previous trials were produced on the same equipment due to extruder optimization.Poly lactic acid or polylactide PLA is a biodegradable thermoplastic derived from renewable resources such as corn starch, tapioca or sugar cane.

Polymerization is carried out by either direct condensation of the lactic acid monomers or by ring-opening polymerization of the cyclic diesters lactides. The resulting resins can be easily converted into films and sheets via standard forming methods including injection and blow molding. As for other plastics, the properties of PLA films will also depend on compounding and on the manufacturing process. Typical commercial grades are amorphous or semi-crystalline and have very good clarity and gloss and little to no odor.

Films made of PLA have very high moisture vapor transmission, and very low oxygen and CO 2 transmission rates. PLA films also have good chemical resistance to hydrocarbons, vegetable oils, and the like. However, typical PLA grades have a lower maximum continuous service temperature and are more brittle. Often plasticizers are added which greatly improve its flexibility, tear resistance and impact strength pure PLA is rather brittle. Most commercial PLA films are percent biodegradable and compostable.

However, the biodegradation time can vary greatly depending on composition, crystallinity and environmental conditions. PLA is mainly used in the packaging industry for cups, bowls, bottles and straws. Other applications include disposable bags and trash liners as well as compostable agriculture films. PLA is also an excellent choice for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications such as drug delivery systems and sutures because PLA is biodegradable, hydrolysable and generally recognized as safe.

Polymer Properties Database. Polylactic Acid Films Properties Poly lactic acid or polylactide PLA is a biodegradable thermoplastic derived from renewable resources such as corn starch, tapioca or sugar cane. Applications PLA is mainly used in the packaging industry for cups, bowls, bottles and straws.China hot sale pvc film Polylactic acid PLA sheet for packaging box.

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Plastic Building Materials Type polythene sheet ,construction sheet.Polylactic acid or polyactide PLA is a biodegradable and bioactive polyester made up of lactic acid building blocks. It was first discovered in by Wallace Carothers by heating lactic acid under vacuum while removing condensed water.

During the early times, only low-density PLA was produced. By using lactide as a raw material and through the process of ring-opening polymerization, a high-density version of PLA was finally developed.

The mechanical behavior of polylactic acid (PLA) films: fabrication, experiments and modelling

Early applications of high-density PLA were mostly limited to biomedical areas due to its ability to be safely absorbed biologically. Over the past decades, the development of economical production methods and a rising environmental consciousness in consumers lead to the widespread use of PLA as packaging material for consumer goods. PLA is manufactured from renewable sources and is compostable, addressing problems in solid waste disposal and lessening our dependence on petroleum-based raw materials.

It is currently the second most produced and consumed bioplastic in the world in terms of volume. PLA is a polyester polymer containing the ester group made with two possible monomers or building blocks: lactic acid, and lactide.

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Lactic acid can be produced by the bacterial fermentation of a carbohydrate source under controlled conditions. In the industrial scale production of lactic acid, the carbohydrate source of choice can be corn starch, cassava roots, or sugarcane, making the process sustainable and renewable. Production of PLA by the direct condensation of lactic acid is possible.

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However, this process usually results in the less-desired low-density PLA. To produce high-density PLA, the lactic acid is heated in the presence of an acid catalyst to form cyclic lactide. In the presence of metal catalysts, lactide undergoes a ring-opening polymerization process to form high-density PLA. Research is ongoing to come up with even more eco-friendly and cheaper methods of producing PLA.

In addition the agricultural produce itself, crop residue such as stems, straw, husks, and leaves, can be processed and used as alternative carbohydrate sources. Residue that cannot be fermented can be used as a heat source to lessen the use of fossil fuel-derived hydrocarbons. One of the major advantages of PLA is its biodegradable nature and the sustainable process by which it is made, making it the environmentally friendly choice of plastic. Under the right circumstances, PLA can break down into its natural elements in less than a month in contrast to the centuries it will take for traditional plastics to decompose.

PLA is especially suitable in short lifespan applications such as in water bottles and food containers. The process by which PLA Is made is also more environment-friendly. In addition to using renewable raw materials, emission of greenhouse gases during production is also lower.

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Because carbon dioxide is consumed during the growth of corn, the net greenhouse gas emission of the overall PLA production process can even be considered negative. Ongoing studies on the use of alternative carbohydrate sources, such as agricultural and household wastes, even suggest that PLA production can lead to a decrease in overall solid waste.

Polylactic Acid (PLA): The Environment-friendly Plastic

PLA is a thermoplasticmeaning it will turn into a liquid in its melting point of to Celsius. A nifty feature of thermoplastics is that they can be heated, set upon cooling, and reheated again to form other shapes without any degradation.

In contrast, a thermosetting plastic such as epoxy or melamine can only be heated and molded once, but the resulting product can no longer be reheated as it will just burn. This property of PLA makes it a desirable material for recycling.PLA has become a popular material due to it being economically produced from renewable resources.

InPLA had the second highest consumption volume of any bioplastic of the world, [3] although it is still not a commodity polymer. Its widespread application has been hindered by numerous physical and processing shortcomings. The name "polylactic acid" does not comply with IUPAC standard nomenclature, and is potentially ambiguous or confusing, because PLA is not a polyacid polyelectrolytebut rather a polyester. The monomer is typically made from fermented plant starch such as from corncassavasugarcane or sugar beet pulp.

Several industrial routes afford usable i. Two main monomers are used: lactic acidand the cyclic di-ester, lactide. The most common route to PLA is the ring-opening polymerization of lactide with various metal catalysts typically tin octoate in solution or as a suspension.

polylactic acid plastic film

The metal-catalyzed reaction tends to cause racemization of the PLA, reducing its stereoregularity compared to the starting material usually corn starch. The direct condensation of lactic acid monomers can also be used to produce PLA. This reaction generates one equivalent of water for every condensation esterification step.

The condensation reaction is reversible and subject to equilibrium, so removal of water is required to generate high molecular weight species. Water removal by application of a vacuum or by azeotropic distillation is required to drive the reaction toward polycondensation. Molecular weights of kDa can be obtained this way. Even higher molecular weights can be attained by carefully crystallizing the crude polymer from the melt.

Carboxylic acid and alcohol end groups are thus concentrated in the amorphous region of the solid polymer, and so they can react.

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Molecular weights of — kDa are obtainable thus. Use of stereospecific catalysts can lead to heterotactic PLA which has been found to show crystallinity. The degree of crystallinity, and hence many important properties, is largely controlled by the ratio of D to L enantiomers used, and to a lesser extent on the type of catalyst used. Apart from lactic acid and lactide, lactic acid O -carboxyanhydride "lac-OCA"a five-membered cyclic compound has been used academically as well. This compound is more reactive than lactide, because its polymerization is driven by the loss of one equivalent of carbon dioxide per equivalent of lactic acid.

Water is not a co-product. The direct biosynthesis of PLA similar to the poly hydroxyalkanoate s has been reported as well.Polylactic Acid PLA is different than mo st thermoplastic polymers in that it is derived from renewable resources like corn starch or sugar cane. Most plasticsby contrast, are derived from the distillation and polymerization of nonrenewable petroleum reserves. Plastics that are derived from biomass e.

It can be produced from already existing manufacturing equipment those designed and originally used for petrochemical industry plastics. This makes it relatively cost efficient to produce. Accordingly, PLA has the second largest production volume of any bioplastic the most common typically cited as thermoplastic starch.

There are a vast array of applications for Polylactic Acid. Some of the most common uses include plastic films, bottles, and biodegradable medical devices e. For more on medical device prototypes both biodegradable and permanent read here. PLA constricts under heat and is thereby suitable for use as a shrink wrap material. On the other hand, its low glass transition temperature makes many types of PLA for example, plastic cups unsuitable to hold hot liquid.

They each have slightly different characteristics but are similar in that they are p roduced from a renewable resource lactic acid: C 3 H 6 O 3 as opposed to traditional plastics which are derived from nonrenewable petroleum.

PLA production is a popular idea as it represents the fulfillment of the dream of cost-efficient, non-petroleum plastic production.

The huge benefit of PLA as a bioplastic is its versatility and the fact that it naturally degrades when exposed to the environment. For example, a PLA bottle left in the ocean would typically degrade in six to 24 months. Compared to conventional plastics which in the same environment can take several hundred to a thousand years to degrade this is truly phenomenal. Accordingly, there is a high potential for PLA to be very useful in short lifespan applications where biodegradability is highly beneficial e.

Of note, despite its ability to degrade when exposed to the elements over a long time, PLA is extremely robust in any normal application e. PLA filament for 3D printing is typically available in a myriad of colors.

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Polylactic Acid could be CNC machined but it is typically not available in sheet stock or rod form. It is, however, typically available as a thin film for thermoforming or in the form of plastic pellets for injection molding. The PLA is later burned out as it has a lower melting temperature than the surrounding material. The end result is a void that can be filled often with molten metal. Polylactic Acid is principally made through two different processes: condensation and polymerization.

The most common polymerization technique is known as ring-opening polymerization. This is a process that utilizes metal catalysts in combination with lactide to create the larger PLA molecules. The condensation process is similar with the principal difference being the temperature during the procedure and the by-products condensates that are released as a consequence of the reaction. Thermoplastic materials become liquid at their melting point degrees Celsius in the case of PLA.

A major useful attribute about thermoplastics is that they can be heated to their melting point, cooled, and reheated again without significant degradation.



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