Tributyl Citrate Oligomers as Plasticizers for Poly (lactic acid): Thermo-mechanical Film Properties and Aging

Nadia Ljungberg, Bengt Wesslén

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243 Citations (SciVal)


Poly (lactic acid), PLA, is a biodegradable thermoplastic that can be produced from renewable resources. The polymer is of interest for production of films for packaging applications. However, plasticization of PLA is required in order to obtain films with sufficient flexibility. PLA was blended with tributyl citrate (TbC) and two oligomers of TbC that were synthesized by transesterification of tributyl citrate (TbC) and diethylene glycol (DEG). Dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were used to investigate the dynamic mechanical and thermal properties of the blends. All the plasticizers investigated decreased the glass transition temperature of PLA, and the reduction was the largest with the plasticizer having the lowest molecular weight. The PLA matrix became saturated with plasticizer at a certain concentration and phase separation occurred; the higher the molecular weight of the plasticizer, the lower the saturation concentration. Aging of the blends at room temperature for several months induced partial phase separation in the material. It was observed that the morphological stability of the blends was enhanced when the plasticizer concentration was reasonably low, i.e. 10–15 wt%.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7679-7688
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Polymer and Materials Chemistry (LTH) (011001041)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Chemical Sciences


  • Poly (lactic acid)
  • Plasticization
  • Oligomeric citrate esters


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