Characterization of Extruded Thermoplastic Starch Reinforced by Montmorillonite Nanoclay.

Zhang, Y., Liu, Q., Hrymak, A.N., and Han, J.H. (2013). "Characterization of Extruded Thermoplastic Starch Reinforced by Montmorillonite Nanoclay.", Journal of Polymers and the Environment, 21(1), pp. 122-131. doi : 10.1007/s10924-012-0528-0  Access to full text

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to understand how the montmorillonite (MMT) nanoclay influences physical and mechanical properties of thermoplastic starch (TPS), which was produced by a conventional extrusion procedure. MMT nanoclay was added at 0, 4, and 8 % (w/w) concentrations. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed most MMT platelets existed in tactoid structure in the starch matrix. In addition, FTIR spectra indicated TPS/MMT nanocomposites kept chemically stable after the extrusion. Tensile strength (TS) was about 7.0 MPa, while elongation-at-break (E) and elastic modulus (EM) were about 52 % and 32–41 MPa, respectively. Moisture sorption behaviour of the samples was well described by GAB and BET models. Thermal property tests exhibited the glass transition temperature (T g) of the nanocomposites decreased with increasing MMT from 0 to 8 %, indicating MMT nanoclay had a plasticization effect.

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