Exploring the effects of fermented chitin nanowhiskers on tensile and thermal properties of poly(ethylene glycol) modified polylactic acid nanocomposites

Effatin Azma Mohd Asri Syazeven Effatin Azma Mohd Asri, Zainoha Zakaria, Azman Hassan*, Mohamad Haafiz Mohamad Kassim, Reza Arjmandi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The incorporation of fermented chitin nanowhiskers (FCHW) into poly(lactic acid) (PLA) increased the tensile modulus and strength of PLA at the expense of ductility. The brittleness of PLA can be overcome with the use of plasticizer such as polyethylene glycols (PEG). The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of FCHW on the tensile and thermal properties PLA incorporated with PEG as plasticizer (PLA/PEG). PLA/PEG and FCHW reinforced PLA/PEG nanocomposites were prepared using solution mixing technique. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was used to determine the thermal properties while tensile properties were determined from the tensile test. The incorporation of PEG successfully increased the ductility and tensile strength of PLA at the expense of modulus. Based on the tensile properties, 5 phr PEG was chosen for further investigation on the effect of FCHW on PEG modified PLA. Incorporation of 1 phr FCHW PLA/PEG increased the tensile strength and Young's modulus. However, the tensile strength decreased with further addition of FCHW. The elongation at break of PLA/PEG decreased drastically with the incorporation of 1 phr FCHW and decreased gradually with further increase of FCHW. The thermal stability from TGA of FCHW reinforced PLA/PEG nanocomposites at 5 phr FCHW content was observed to be significantly higher compared to PLA/PEG, as indicated by T20 and Tmax.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-165
Number of pages12
JournalMalaysian Journal of Fundamental and Applied Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

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The author would like to thank Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) for the research facilities and Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia for financial support through FRGS Grant 4F377.


  • Chitin
  • Nanocomposites
  • Nanowhiskers
  • Poly(ethylene glycol)
  • Polylactic acid


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