Non-conventional injection molding of poly(lactide) and poly(e-caprolactone) intended for orthopedic applications

H. Altpeter, M.J. Bevis, D.W. Grijpma, J. Feijen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Biodegradable polymers such as poly(lactide) (PLA) and poly(epsi-caprolactone) (PCL) are increasingly used in biomedical applications as temporary implants. However, melt processing of these materials in particular of PLA is difficult due to the temperature sensitivity. Within this study, PLA and PCL were injection molded conventionally and by using the process shear controled orientation in injection molding (SCORIM) in order to investigate the effect of processing parameters on the physical properties of the moldings. Therefore, flexural testing, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD), molecular weight (MW) and orientation measurements were performed. PLA showed high sensitivity to melt temperature. In the case of amorphous poly(DL-lactide), the molecular weight and subsequently the ductility is substantially reduced by processing at higher melt temperatures. In the case of crystallizable poly(L-lactide), higher melt temperatures and shear induced by the SCORIM process resulted in enhanced crystallinity, which compromised the mechanical properties. Generally, SCORIM processing improved the mechanical properties, in particular the ductility, by orientating the molecular structure. PCL was shown to be less sensitive to shear and temperature than PLA. Stress at yield and stiffness are more improved by SCORIM processing. However, the processing temperature in combination with the grade used proved to be influential for the mechanical properties of resulting moldings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-184
JournalJournal of materials science. Materials in medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • IR-71371
  • METIS-223585
  • Mechanical property
  • Mold
  • Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC)
  • Ductility
  • Lactide


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