Strong fibers from polylactic acid
Available on the market and biodegradable: polylactic acid (PLA) is an innovative polymer used in packaging materials or surgical threads. CCPE-researchers are working to develop technical fibers based on polylactic acid for the melt spinning process – basis for a new one component composite material.
Mechanical reinforced polymers made of only one type of polymer facilitate mechanical recycling enormously in a circular economy. The innovative part is to specifically optimize the stereo complexing* during the forming process into filament yarns. This results in improved mechanical properties and at the same time increased thermal stability compared to the initial polymer. The aim is to open up new applications for polylactic acid by compounding it with the thermally more stable scPLA fibers. At the same time, efficient recycling of the then existing one component composite material becomes possible.
* Stereocomplex means (thereby) a crystal structure which is composed of equal parts and alternately of L- and D-lactidic chain sequences (Y. Ikada, K. Jamshidi, H. Tsui, S.-H. Hyon: Stereocomplex Formation between Enantiometic Poly(lactides), Macromolecules, Vol. 20, No. 4, 1987, 904 – 906).