Effect of different biopolymers and polymers on the mechanical and permeation properties of extruded PHBV cast films
The biopolymer poly‐3‐hydroxybutyrate‐co‐3‐hydroxyvalerate (PHBV) is a promising material for packaging applications but its high brittleness is challenging. To address this issue, PHBV was blended with nine different biopolymers and polymers in order to improve the processing and mechanical properties of the films. Those biopolymers were TPS, PBAT, a blend of PBAT + PLA, a blend of PBAT + PLA + filler, PCL and PBS, and the polymers TPU, PVAc, and EVA. The extruded cast films were analyzed in detail (melting temperature, crystallinity, mechanical properties, permeation properties, and surface topography). A decrease in crystallinity and Young's modulus and an increase in elongation at break and permeability were observed with increasing biopolymer/polymer concentration. In PHBV‐rich blends (>70 wt % PHBV), the biopolymers/polymers PCL, PBAT, and TPU increased the elongation at break while only slightly increasing the permeability. Larger increases in the permeability were found for the films with PBS, PVAc, and EVA. The films of biopolymer/polymer‐rich blends (with PBAT, TPU, and EVA) had significantly different properties than pure PHBV. A strong effect on the properties was measured assuming that at certain biopolymer/polymer concentrations the coherent PHBV network is disrupted. The interpretation of the permeation values by the Maxwell-Garnett theory confirms the assumption of a phase separation.