Influence of Various Climatic Conditions on the Structural Changes of Semicrystalline PLA Spun-Bonded Mulching Nonwovens during Outdoor Composting
Michał Puchalski , Piotr Siwek , Nicolay Panayotov , Małgorzata Berova , Stanisława Kowalska , Izabella Krucińska
AbstractThis study analyzed the structural changes of semicrystalline polylactide (PLA) in the form of spun-bonded mulching nonwovens, during outdoor composting. The investigation was carried out at the microstructural, supramolecular and molecular levels using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD) and the viscosity method, respectively. The obtained experimental results revealed how the popular outdoor composting method, realized under two different European climatic conditions (in Poland and in Bulgaria), affects the degradation of PLA nonwoven, designed for agriculture use. The results showed the insignificant influence of the climatic conditions and prepared compost mixtures on the molecular and micromorphological structure of PLA spun-bonded mulching nonwovens, with a visible increase in crystallinity after the first year of composting. Significant changes were observed only after the second year of composting, which indicates the resistance of semicrystalline PLA to degradation in outdoor composting conditions.
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