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Physical and thermal mechanical properties of corn starch/LDPE composites

Abstract

The potential of biodegradable polymers has long been recognized. In this work, composites of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and low density polyethylene/thermoplastic starch (LDPE/TPS) at different ratios of TPS (40%‐60% w/w) were prepared in internal mixer. Polyethylene‐grafted maleic anhydride (PE‐g‐MA) at 3 wt % was used as coupling agent. Chemical reactions between functional groups of composite components were studied and confirmed by Fourier transforms infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The morphology of film surfaces was studied using scanning electron microscopy. The physical, mechanical, and dynamic‐mechanical thermal analyses of LDPE/TPS composites were evaluated. The FTIR results showed transmission peak at 1642 cm−1, which is the result of chemical reaction between the hydroxyl groups of starch and anhydride groups of coupling agent. This verifies the presence of the carboxylate group due to the formation of ester bonding. The results showed that the water absorption and density of composite films increased by increasing the starch content in LDPE/TPS composites. The tensile strength and elongation at break decreased by increasing the starch level in the composites, but the young's modulus increased. The morphological studies showed that the biodegradability of composites increased by increasing the starch content and the results was confirmed by weight loss in buring the samples in wet soil during time intervals. The dynamic mechanical thermal analyzer thermograms showed that there are two relaxation temperature peaks. The amplitude of peaks increased by increasing the starch content from 40 to 60% probably due to increasing amorphous phase of composite. The starch was uniformly distributed throughout the LDPE polymer matrix and compatible and biodegradable composites were formed. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2012

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Authors:   Oromiehie, A. R.; lari, T. Taherzadeh; Rabiee, A.
Journal:   Journal of Applied Polymer Science
Year:   2012
Pages:   n/a
DOI:   10.1002/app.37877
Publication date:   15-May-2012
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