Poly(Ethylene Glycol) as a Compatibilizer for Poly(Lactic Acid)/Thermoplastic Starch Blends
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A new route to prepare poly(lactic acid) (PLA)/thermoplastic starch (TPS) blends is described in this work using poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), a non-toxic polymer, as a compatibilizer. The influence of PEG on the morphology and properties of PLA/TPS blends was studied. The blends were processed using a twin-screw micro-compounder and a micro-injector. The morphologies were analyzed by scanning and transmission electron microscopies and the material properties were evaluated by dynamic-mechanical, differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis and mechanical tests. PLA/TPS blends presented large TPS phase size distribution and low adhesion between phases which was responsible for the lower elastic modulus of this blend when compared to pure PLA. The addition of PEG resulted in the increase of PLA crystallization, due to its plasticizing effect, and improvement of the interfacial interaction between TPS and PLA matrix. Results show that incorporation of PEG increased the impact strength of the ternary blend and that the elastic modulus remained similar to the PLA/TPS blend.
KeywordsPoly(lactic acid) Thermoplastic starch Poly(ethylene glycol) Blend Morphology
This research was supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) (Brazil) through Inomat, National Institute (INCT) for Complex Functional Materials. The authors would also like to thank Cargill Dow and Copagra for material donation.
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