Morphological and thermal properties of photodegradable biocomposite films

Authors

  • Sreejarani Kesavan Pillai,

    Corresponding author
    1. DST/CSIR National Centre for Nano-Structured Materials, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
    • DST/CSIR National Centre for Nano-Structured Materials, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
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  • Suprakas Sinha Ray,

    1. DST/CSIR National Centre for Nano-Structured Materials, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
    2. Department of Applied Chemistry, University of Johannesburg, Doornfontein, 2028, South Africa
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  • Manfred Scriba,

    1. DST/CSIR National Centre for Nano-Structured Materials, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
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  • Vincent Ojijo,

    1. DST/CSIR National Centre for Nano-Structured Materials, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
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  • Mpitloane Joseph Hato

    1. DST/CSIR National Centre for Nano-Structured Materials, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
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Abstract

Biocomposites containing ultraviolet (UV) radiation absorbing inorganic nanofillers are of great interest in food packaging applications. The biodegradable polylactide (PLA) composite films were prepared by solvent casting method by incorporating 1 wt % of titanium dioxide (TiO2) and Ag-TiO2 (silver nanoparticles decorated TiO2) nanoparticles to impart the photodegradable properties. The films were exposed to UV radiation for different time periods and morphology of the composite films before and after UV exposure were investigated. The results showed that homogenous filler distribution was achieved in the case of Ag-TiO2 nanoparticles. The thermal properties and thermomechanical stability of the composite film containing Ag-TiO2 nanoparticles were found to be much higher than those of neat PLA and PLA/TiO2 composite films. The scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction studies revealed that the photodegradability of PLA matrix was significantly improved in the presence of Ag-TiO2 nanoparticles. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci., 2013

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