Articles written in Bulletin of Materials Science

    • Processability and performance property correlation for LDPE/PA6-based nanocomposite and its monolayer blown film for packaging application


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      A monolayer blown film, based on low-density polyethylene (LDPE)/polyamide 6(PA6)/nanoclay composite, is developed with enhanced barrier and mechanical properties. This is an attempt to develop specific monolayer film with comparable performance properties as that of multilayer packaging film, which poses considerable environmental challenge in terms of recycling. Blown film processability of neat PA6 is difficult due to its low melt strength characteristics.In order to mitigate this processing difficulty, LDPE was used as the matrix and PA6 as the minor phase. Two base compositions 80/20 and 65/35 (LDPE:PA6) with a constant 0.5 phr compatibilizer were used in this study. Based on thesetwo base compositions, nanocomposites having 0.5, 1, 2 and 4 phr nanoclay were prepared for blown film processing. The nanocomposites were characterized by melt flow index (MFI), differential scanning calorimetry, small angle X-rayscattering (SAXS), wide-angle X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. Nanoclay helped in improving the compatibility of both the polymers. Morphological characterization of blends indicated predominantly exfoliated structure formation. In order to understand the effect of critical parameters, optimization was carried out using Taguchi method with the help of a L16 orthogonal array, considering four input parameters, such as, base compositions, nanoclayconcentrations, nip roll speeds and blow up ratio. The parametric optimization study was performed against oxygen transmission rate, water vapour transmission rate and tensile strength of blown films. It was found that the barrier and mechanical property of the films are greatly affected by nip roll speed. Corresponding seal strength and transparency of prepared film showed values that are suitable for packaging application.

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