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Effect of Babassu natural filler on PBAT/PHB biodegradable blends: An investigation of thermal, mechanical, and morphological behavior

: Beber, Vinicius C.; Barros, Silvio de; Banea, Mariana D.; Brede, Markus; Carvalho, Laura H. de; Hoffmann, Ron; Costa, Anna Raffaela M.; Bezerra, Elieba B.; Silva, Ingridy D.S.; Haag, Katharina; Koschek, Katharina; Wellen, Renate M.R.


Materials 11 (2018), Nr.5, Art. 820, 16 S.
ISSN: 1996-1944
Fraunhofer IFAM ()
PBAT / PHB / Babassu; cost-effective compound; biodegradability; green composite; biomaterial; organic filler; mechanical characterization; differential scanning calorimetry; scanning electron microscopy

Blending of biodegradable polymers in combination with low-price organic fillers has proven to be a suitable approach to produce cost-effective composites in order to address pollution issues and develop products with superior mechanical properties. In the present research work PBAT/PHB/Babassu composites with 25, 50, and 75% of each polymer and 20% of Babassu were produced by melting extrusion. Their thermal, mechanical, and morphological behavior was investigated by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), tensile testing, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Blending PBAT with PHB inhibited the crystallization of both polymers whereas adding Babassu did not significantly change their melting behaviour. Incorporation of Babassu reduced the tensile strength of its respective blends between 4.8 and 32.3%, and elongation at break between 26.0 and 66.3%. PBAT as highly ductile and low crystalline polymer may be seen as a crystallization tool control for PHB as well as a plasticizer to PBAT/PHB blends and PBAT/PHB/Babassu composites. As PBAT content increases: (i) elongation at break increases and (ii) surface fracture becomes more refined indicating the presence of more energy dissipation mechanisms. As PBAT/PHB/Babassu composites are biodegradable, environmental friendly, and cost effective, products based on these compounds have a great potential since their mechanical properties such as ductility, stiffness, and tensile strength are still suitable for several applications even at lower temperatures (−40 °C).