Photo-oxidative and soil burial degradation of irrigation tubes based on biodegradable polymer blends

Maria Chiara Mistretta, Manuela Ceraulo, Francesco Paolo La Mantia, Graziella Valenti, Marco Rapisarda, Carmelo Giuffrè, Roberto Pellegrino, Paola Rizzarelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Irrigation tubes based on biodegradable polymers were prepared via an extrusion-drawing process by Irritec and compared to conventional pipes made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). A commercial polylactide/poly (butyleneadipate-co-butyleneterephthalate) (PLA/PBAT) blend (Bio-Flex®) and Mater-Bi® were used. The polymers were characterized from rheological and mechanical points of view. Irrigation pipes were subjected to photoaging with continued exposure to UV radiation up to 22 days. The degradability in the soil of irrigation tube samples was studied. The influence of temperature and UV irradiation on soil burial degradation was investigated. A soil burial degradation test was carried out at 30 °C and 50 °C for up to 70 days. The degree of degradation was evaluated from the weight loss percentage. The degradation rate of irrigation tube samples based on Mater-Bi® was higher at 30 °C and was stimulated after 14 days of UV irradiation. Higher temperatures or UV aging encouraged the disintegration in soil of Bio-Flex®-based irrigation tubes. Furthermore, tube samples, before and after UV and soil burial degradation, were analyzed by Attenuated Total Reflection-Fourier Transform Infra-Red (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics


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