Interest in biobased polymers from renewable resources has grown in recent years due to environmental concerns, but they still have a minimal fraction of the total global market. In this study, the injection molding of thermoplastic cellulose octanate (cellulose C8) and cellulose palmitate (cellulose C16) were studied. The mechanical properties of injection-molded test specimens were analyzed by using tensile testing, and the internal structure of injection-molded objects was studied by using a field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). We showed that thermoplastic cellulose C8 and cellulose C16 were completely processable without the addition of a plasticizer, which is very unusual in the case of cellulose esters. The compatibility of cellulose esters with poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and biopolyethylene (bio-PE) was also tested. By compounding the cellulose esters with PLA, the elongation of PLA-based blends could be improved and the density could be reduced. The tested thermoplastic cellulose materials were fully biobased, and have good future potential to be used in injection molding applications.
- Long chain cellulose esters
- Mechanical properties