In-situ Polymerization of Polylactic Acid/Montmorillonite Nanocomposites




McKinney, Matthew W.

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There is a great interest in finding a renewable plastic to reduce the need for petroleum-based plastics, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET). The benefits in waste reduction and reducing dependence on oil would be ethically and economically beneficial. A leading contender-to help replace these plastics is poly lactic acid (PLA). It has similar properties to leading petroleum-based plastics, with the added benefit of being made from a renewable resource, although some properties could be improved, namely the heat distortion temperatures and water permeability. This research focuses on improving these properties by the addition of organoclay platelets. These nanoclays have been shown to improve the mechanical, thermal, and permeation properties of various polymers. It is the scope of this research to define a method for improving PLA to the point that it can be used in food packaging films and apparel.



polymerization, nanostructured materials, renewable resources, montmorillonite, natural resources


McKinney, M. W. (2008). In-situ polymerization of polylactic acid/montmorillonite nanocomposites (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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