Effect of Degradation on the Physicochemical and Mechanical Properties of Extruded Films of Poly(lactic acid) and Chitosan

José Ramón Flores-León, Dora Evelia Rodríguez-Félix*, Jesús Manuel Quiroz-Castillo, Heidy Burrola-Núñez, María Mónica Castillo-Ortega, José Carmelo Encinas-Encinas, Juana Alvarado-Ibarra, Hisila Santacruz-Ortega, Jesús Leobardo Valenzuela-García, Pedro Jesús Herrera-Franco

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study addresses the fabrication of extruded films using poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and chitosan, with and without maleic anhydride as a compatibilizing agent, for potential applications in disposable food packaging. These films underwent controlled conditions of UV irradiation, water condensation, and temperature variations in an accelerated weathering chamber. The investigation analyzed the effect of different exposure periods on the structural, morphological, mechanical, and thermal properties of the films. It was observed that PLA films exhibited a lower susceptibility to degradation compared to those containing chitosan. Specifically, the pure PLA film showed an increase in elastic modulus and strength during the initial 144 h of exposure, associated with cross-linking induced by UV radiation. On the other hand, film Q2 composed of PLA, chitosan, and maleic anhydride and Q1 without maleic anhydride experienced a tensile strength loss of over 50% after 244 h of exposure. The Q2 film exhibited greater homogeneity, leading to increased resistance to degradation compared to that of Q1. As the degradation time increased, both the Q1 and Q2 films demonstrated a decline in thermal stability. These films also exhibited alterations in crystallinity attributed to the chemo-crystallization process, along with fluctuations in the glass transition temperature and crystallization, particularly at 288 h.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9526-9535
Number of pages10
JournalACS Omega
Issue number8
StatePublished - 27 Feb 2024

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© 2024 The Authors. Published by American Chemical Society.


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