Unmodified poly (butylene succinate) (PBS) is characterized by very good processability; however, after the incorporation of various fillers of plant origin, its processing becomes much more complicated and its properties are significantly affected. Detailed studies of the processing aspects of PBS/wheat bran (WB) biocomposition are lacking, despite the addition of WB having a significant impact on both the production efficiency and the properties of end products. This research paper presents test results of the co-rotating twin-screw extrusion processing of a biodegradable polymer blend, the matrix of which was PBS, with WB as the filler. In undertaking this task, we examined the impact of extruder screw rotational speed and WB content on the characteristics of extrusion processing, as well as on certain thermal, physical, structural and processing properties of the obtained blend. The WB introduced to the blend was in the form of a selected fraction with particles smaller than 0.2 mm. The measurements were conducted using the Design of Experiment (DOE) methods, which enabled establishing the studied relationships in the form of polynomials and response surfaces. The determined extrusion process characteristics covered the impact of screw rotational speed and WB content on the mass flow rate of the processed blend and its pressure, the screw drive torque and specific energy consumption. The studies of the obtained polymer blend included determining the impact of the aforementioned variable factors on the melt flow rate (MFR) index, chemical structure (FTIR), thermal properties (differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetry (TG), derivative thermogravimetry (DTG)), p-v-T relationships, microstructure, density and moisture absorbance. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to assess the effect of individual variable factors. The results of this work are presented, inter alia, using Pareto charts of standardized effects, which illustrate the influence of individual terms of the determined regression equations on the studied quantity.
Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics