Miscible Blends of Biobased Poly(Lactide) with Poly(Methyl Methacrylate): Effects of Chopped Glass Fiber Incorporation

Derek Berry, David Snowberg, Dylan Cousins, Corinne Lowe, Dana Swan, Robert Barsotti, Mingfu Zhang, Klaus Gleich, John Dorgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus Citations


Poly(lactide) (PLA) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) are melt compounded with chopped glass fiber using laboratory scale twin-screw extrusion. Physical properties are examined using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), tensile testing, impact testing, X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanning, and field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). Molecular weight is determined using gel permeation chromatography (GPC). Miscibility of the blends is implied by the presence of a single glass transition temperature and homogeneous morphology. PLA/PMMA blends tend to show positive deviations from a simple linear mixing rule in their mechanical properties (e.g., tensile toughness, modulus, and stress at break). The addition of 40 wt % glass fiber to the system dramatically increases physical properties. Across all blend compositions, the tensile modulus increases from roughly 3 GPa to roughly 10 GPa. Estimated heat distortion temperatures (HDTs) are also greatly enhanced; the pure PLA sample HDT increases from 75 degrees C to 135 degrees C. Fiber filled polymer blends represent a sustainable class of earth abundant materials which should prove useful across a range of applications.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2017

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5000-68547


  • biopolymers and renewable polymers
  • blends
  • composites
  • mechanical properties
  • thermoplastics


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