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Use of Thermal Black as Filler in PLA Films for Agricultural and Industrial Applications


Title: Use of Thermal Black as Filler in PLA Films for Agricultural and Industrial Applications

Authors: Mihaela Mihai, Sajjad Saeidlou, Edward Norton, Ross Buchholz

DOI: 10.33599/nasampe/c.23.0018

Abstract: This paper presents for the first-time methods of fabrication and the performance of films obtained from combinations of Thermal Black (TB) Thermax@ N990 particles, and polylactic acid (PLA), a compostable bio-sourced thermoplastic polymer. TB is one of the purest and cleanest forms of carbon black (CB) commercially available. In contrast to the common furnace carbon black derived from the burning of organic aromatic oils, TB is manufactured in a much more sustainable and responsible way, by the decomposition of natural gas in the absence of oxygen. TB has a slightly larger particle size, around 280 nm, a lower surface area, and lower level of particle aggregation, while being the most eco-friendly grade from CB family. Nowadays, there is an increasing use of agricultural films explained by changing the weather conditions and the growing demand for food due to the increasing population. Moreover, because of rising environmental concerns, films having low environmental impact are more and more requested. The compostable and bio-based PLA is already used for agricultural films with a global market, evaluated at $354 million in 2016, reaching $910 million in 2023. Therefore, in this work, films based on PLA with different concentrations of TB were developed and fabricated, their properties were evaluated and compared to those of current agricultural films. PLA biocomposites containing from 3 wt.% up to 40 wt.% TB were first compounded and the compounds were used to fabricate films by film casting, film blowing and bi-axial orientation processes. Unique characteristics of PLA / TB films in terms of their microstructure, mechanical performance, optical characteristics, thermal resistance, biodegradability, and barrier properties were measured and compared to the neat PLA and PLA/CB composite films. Accordingly, novel PLA / TB films developed in this work can replace petroleum-based films currently used for many industrial and agricultural applications due to their biodegradability, lower cost and high performance.

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Conference: CAMX 2023

Publication Date: 2023/10/30

SKU: TP23-0000000018

Pages: 15

Price: $30.00

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