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Keywords:

  • biodegradable;
  • biopolymers & renewable polymers;
  • extrusion;
  • films;
  • porous materials

ABSTRACT

Breathable films, which find in variety of product applications, are conventionally made using mineral porogens such as calcium carbonate (CaCO3). This article addresses a novel biodegradable and highly breathable film without inorganic porogens. Unexpectedly, a thermoplastic cross-linked natural polymer (corn starch) was used successfully to create tortuous passages for film breathability. This concept was demonstrated using two types of thermoplastic cross-linked corn starches as porogens and contrasted to control samples: native corn and chemically cross-linked starches, respectively. The films discussed had increased breathability and mechanical properties relative to the control samples. The film morphology reveals that filler was irregular when thermoplastic starch or CaCO3 was used. The difference in filler from chemically modified cross-linked starch and thermoplastic cross-linked starch was observable as well. It is believed that spherical particles provided by thermoplastic cross-linked starch helps film debonding and porosity during the film stretch processes. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 41016.