Influence of maleic anhydride on the compatibility of thermal plasticized starch and linear low-density polyethylene



In the presence of dicumyl peroxide, the compatibility of thermal plasticized starch/linear low-density polyethylene (TPS/LLDPE) blends using maleic anhydride (MAH) as compatibilizer was investigated. The thermal plasticization of starch and its compatibilizing modification with LLDPE was accomplished in a single-screw extruder at the same time. We prepared three types of blends containing different percentages of TPS and MAH. The content of MAH based on LLDPE was 0, 1, and 2 wt %, respectively. The morphology of the blends was studied by SEM. It was found that, with the addition of MAH, the blends have good interfacial adhesion and finely dispersed TPS and LLDPE phases, which is reflected in the mechanical and thermal properties of the blends. The blends containing MAH showed higher tensile strength, elongation at break, and thermal stability than those of blends without MAH. The rheologic properties of the blends demonstrated the existence of processing. Finally, the dynamic thermal mechanical analysis results indicated that, with the addition of MAH, the compatibility between TPS and LLDPE in the blends was substantially improved. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 93: 686–695, 2004