Cross Effect of Natural Rubber and Annealing on the Properties of Poly(Lactic Acid)
In our work, the effect of Natural Rubber was investigated on the properties of Poly(Lactic Acid). We produced blends containing 0-20 wt% Natural Rubber with different manufacturing technologies (internal mixer and twin screw extrusion) and injection molded specimens from the blends. In addition to the effect of Natural Rubber on PLA, we also examined the effect of D-Lactide content and also the combined effect of Natural Rubber and the crystalline structure developed during heat treatment (annealing) of PLA. A positive synergistic effect was found between the presence of Natural Rubber and the developed crystal structure regarding impact strength and thus high toughness blends could be produced. Finally, it was found that this synergistic effect is even more stronger due to the smaller and better dispersed Natural Rubber particles.