Development of new generation fishing gear: A resistant and biodegradable monofilament
Developing biodegradable formulations or controlled-lifetime polymers is one of the issues of tomorrow. In order to reduce the impact of fishing and to fight the expansion of plastic debris in the marine environment, a new generation of monofilament, resistant and biodegradable, has been developed in this study. The monofilament was obtained by melt-spinning extrusion, and the effect of drawing on the structure and properties of a versatile polymer, poly(butylene succinate) (PBS), was examined. The influence of the draw ratio (3.5, 4, and 4.5) and the drawing oven temperature (60, 80, and 100 °C) was investigated, and the modifications obtained by drawing were monitored by means of several characterizations. The mechanical properties of the monofilament before and after drawing were examined by a tensile test. The evolution of the crystallinity and macromolecular chain orientation of the monofilament were determined by thermal analysis (DSC) and Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) spectroscopy, respectively. A significant increase in mechanical properties was obtained on a tensile test carried out after drawing. Changes at macromolecular scale were also important: the evolution of crystallinity after drawing was observed and depended on both the temperature and the draw ratio. Then, orientation investigations explained the results obtained through the tensile test and DSC. The results suggest that poly(butylene succinate) can be an ecofriendly alternative to traditional polyamides commonly used for fishing gear.