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INFLUENCE OF THE ATMOSPHERIC PLASMA CONDITIONS PROCESS ON WETTABILITY OF THE BIOPOLYMER PLA (POLYLACTIC ACID) FOR TECHNOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS

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Author(s): Amparo Jordá Vilaplana | Lourdes Sánchez Nácher | María Ángeles Bonet Aracil | Vicent Fombuena Borràs

Journal: Annals of the University of Oradea. Fascicle of Textiles, Leatherwork
ISSN 1843-813X

Volume: XIV;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 177;
Date: 2013;
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Keywords: Biodegradable | polylactic acid | wettability | contact angle | atmospheric plasma

ABSTRACT
Recently a remarkable growth in the biodegradable polymers applications has been observed in many industrial sectors. This kind of polymers offers a wide variety of properties such a traditional and easy processing conditions, good chemical barrier behaviour, surface finishing versatility, light, etc. What’s more the main property of these polymers is their biodegradability and environmental friendly behaviour. One of the most important commercial biopolymer is polylactic acid or PLA. This is one polyester kind from renewable sources that its produced for anaerobic fermentation of substrates with carbon like glucose, lactose, starch, molasses, etc with microorganisms like lactobacillus bacterium.Despite this, many polymeric materials offer very low surface energy values. So, in order to obtain polymeric joints, surface cover or printing for technological applications, these surfaces are characterized by poor wettability properties. For solving this real problem we can use some surface treatments like chemicals solvents, physical treatment, etc. One of the most interesting treatment is the plasma technology because is an environmental friendly technology and promotes high surface energy values on polymer surface, improves wettability property.In this work we have used atmospheric plasma technology to modify wettability properties of a polylactic acid PLA, with different conditions process to optimize the parameters treatment. On the other hand, we have evaluated the main actuation mechanism of the atmospheric plasma technology on polymeric surface.Wettability changes on PLA surface have been evaluated using contact angle measurements by means of four test liquids with different polarities. Characterization of the surface changes due to the atmospheric plasma fictionalization mechanism has been carried out using infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-Ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). The obtained results show that the atmospheric plasma treatment produces an increase of the PLA surface hydrophilic behavior, improving its possible technological applications in any industrial sector.

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