Structure and properties of thermoplastic corn starch/montmorillonite biodegradable composites

Authors

  • Mingfu Huang,

    1. School of Chemical Engineering and the Environment, Beijing, Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, People's Republic of China
    2. Department of Chemistry, School of Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, People's Republic of China
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  • Jiugao Yu

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry, School of Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, People's Republic of China
    • Department of Chemistry, School of Science, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, People's Republic of China
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Abstract

“Green” composites were successfully prepared from the thermoplastic cornstarch (TPCS) and activated-montmorillonite (MMT) by the method of blend extrusion. The thermoplastic cornstarch was plasticized with novel plasticizers urea and ethanolamine, and the activated-montmorillonites were obtained using ethanolamine as the activated solvent. The structure and morphology of “Green” composites were characterized by wide-angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD), scanning electron microscope (SEM), and transmission electron microscope (TEM). SEM and TEM images indicated that the composites presented reticulating fiber structure after being cooled by liquid nitrogen. The exfoliated MMT sheets in the composites acted as the inhomogeneous nucleation effect. The melting urea was crystaled over on the MMT sheets in the inducement of ethanolamine, and the column-shape crystal whisker overlapped together. Comparing with normal temperature, the mechanical properties of composites evidently improved after being cooled by liquid nitrogen, which was proved by the mechanical testing. The thermal stability and water-resistance of the composites also were studied in this paper. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci 99: 170–176, 2006

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