The increasing severe plastic issue has brought the biodegradable polymers into the top researching field. The various bioplastics become a promising way to reduce the solid waste and boost the sustainable development of the world. This study focused on the performance of ternary blend of PLA, PCL and TPS. All these three materials are playing an essential role in the bioplastic industry due to their outstanding properties and 100% biodegradable. However, the drawbacks of each material limited its application in packaging. This study aimed to overcome the shortcomings by blending PLA, PCL and TPS in an optimal composition, and proper compatibilizer was also introduced to improve the biodegradation performance of the blend. According to the requirements of study, the mechanical, thermal, TEM, biodegradation and water uptake tests were conducted to analyze the effect of material proportion and compatibilizer on the properties of PLA/PCL/TPS ternary blend. Three different compositions of PLA, PCL and TPS were produced and analyzed in the first stage of study, which were PLA20/PCL40/TPS40, PLA30/PCL40/TPS40 and PLA40/PCL40/TPS20. After evaluating the mechanical and biodegradation performance, the blend PLA20/PCL40/TPS40 was selected for the next experiment which was mixing with varied amount of the compatibilizer, vanillin. The addition of vanillin made a slight difference on the thermal properties. The tensile strength decreased after mixed with vanillin, whereas the modulus improved when the amount of vanillin was 5 wt% and the elongation increased when added 2.5 wt% vanillin. The biodegradation test was successfully operated in aerobic soil environment. The blends presented a good biodegradability and all samples completely biodegraded after 16-weeks burial. The results indicated that the optimal amount of vanillin was 5 wt%, which improved the biodegrading process of PLA20/PCL40/TPS40 ternary blend without significant effect on thermal properties and it maintained the mechanical properties at relatively ideal situation.
Department, Program, or Center
Packaging Science (CET)
Wang, Rui, "Poly(Lactic Acid) (PLA), Poly(-Caprolactone) (PCL) and Thermoplastic Starch (TPS) Blends for Compostable Packaging Applications" (2018). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
RIT – Main Campus