The development of biodegradable polymeric materials has been stimulated owing to the environmental problems related to inappropriate litter disposing which includes polymeric materials with long-time degradation. The replacement of these polymers for biodegradable polymers is complicated due to economic factors as the biodegradable polymers are more expensive than the conventional ones and also because their properties still do not attend the requirements for certain applications. Thus, the insertion of additives in biodegradable polymers such as poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) consists in an effective way of adjusting their properties according to specific applications and therefore expands their uses. For this reason, this very project intends to develop a polymeric nanocomposite of PHBV combined with multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) in order to obtain good electrical conduction and adding tributyrin in the formulation as a plasticizer so that a material with higher plastic deformation is achieved. Samples of PHBV with different plasticizer concentrations: 5, 10 and 15% (m/m) will be prepared by a thermokinetic homogenizer followed by press molding under pressure and temperature. These samples will be characterized by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and tensile testing in order to analyze the most appropriate concentration for further studies. Nanocomposites of PHBV/MWCNT will be produced with 0,5; 1,0; 1,5; 2,0% (m/m) with and no plasticizer added following the same processing of the previous stage. They will be characterized by DSC, SEM, tensile testing and electrical conductivity testing to measure the effect of the addition of these two additives added separately and put together, and eventually find out the most suitable formulation to obtain the material with highest elongation and good electrical conductivity.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: