Foamed polymers are future materials, considered “green materials” due to their properties with very low consumption of raw materials; they can be used to ameliorate appearance of structures besides contributing for thermal and acoustic insulation. Nevertheless, waste disposal has generated about 20–30% of total of solid volume in landfills besides prejudicing flora and fauna by uncontrolled disposal. The development of biodegradable polymers aims to solve this problem, considering that in 2012, bio-plastics market was evaluated in 1.4 million tons produced and in 2017 attained 6.2 million tons. Biodegradable polymers as poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT) are thermoplastics which can be processed using the most conventional polymer processing methods. PLA is high in strength and modulus but brittle, while PBAT is flexible and tough. In order to reduce interfacial tension exhibited by PLA/PBAT blends, it was used as compatibilizing agent 5 phr of PLA previously gamma-radiated at 150 kGy. Ionizing radiation induces compatibilization by free radicals, improving the dispersion and adhesion of blend phases, without using chemical additives and at room temperature. As a reinforcement agent, calcium carbonate from avian eggshell waste was used, at 10 ph of micro particles, 125 μm. Admixtures were further processed in a single-screw extruder, using CO2 as physical blowing agent (PBA). Property investigations were performed by DSC, TGA, XRD, SEM, FTIR, and mechanical essays.
Part of the book: Use of Gamma Radiation Techniques in Peaceful Applications