Films for agricultural or packaging applications are typically made of low density polyethylene (LDPE). They are produced through the film blowing process, which requires the use of polymers with suitable rheological properties. Furthermore, the short shelf-life which is often related to many packed products leads to huge amounts of plastic-based wastes. This suggests the use of biodegradable and/or compostable polymers in replacement for traditional ones. To this regard, only few data exist on the rheological properties of biodegradable polymers undergoing film blowing processing. In this work, a detailed investigation on the rheological, mechanical and processability behaviour of some biodegradable polymers (originating from MaterBi® and Bioflex® commercial groups) was carried out, in order to assess their suitability to industrial-scale film blowing by direct comparison with a traditional non-biodegradable polymer (LDPE). Rheological tests under shear and non-isothermal elongational flow allowed to find out the two most suitable polymer grades. The film blowing production operations at different draw and blow-up ratios (from 2.5 to 3.5) showed that the two samples are suitable for industrial scale operations. Results from tensile and impact tests indicated that the two selected polymers exhibit significantly different mechanical properties (up to 10–15%).
Journal of Polymers and the Environment – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 17, 2017
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