A study of the manufacturing and product possibilities of a cork/polylactic acid compound
Author(s)Reed, Sarah BR
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
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A study of the manufacturing and product capabilities of a cork/polylactic acid compound was conducted. Fine granulated cork, 1mm in diameter, was compounded with Natureworks' IngeoTM3051D PLA and extruded into pellets. The PLA was compounded with cork in two concentrations: 5% by weight and 10% by weight. The material was then pressed in the flat sheets in a hot press and subject to rheological and mechanical testing. A simulation of the injection molding process was conducted using Autodesk's MoldFlowTMsoftware. Material property data was gathered and approximated and then fit into a model which was used to run the simulation. Finally, a dinner plate was thermoformed from flat sheets of each of the concentrations. From the mechanical testing it was found that while the cork weakened the PLA slightly the elastic moduli for both formulations were close enough to that of other common plastics to be acceptable for product use. The injection molding simulation showed the material to be injection moldable, although further study of the injection molding parameters will be needed to ensure the molded part is high quality throughout.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, 2011.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 56-57).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology