Effects of polyethylene-grafted maleic anhydride as a compatibilizer on the tensile properties of (high-density polyethylene)/(natural rubber)/(thermoplastic tapioca starch) (HDPE/NR/TPS) blends were investigated. The ratio of HDPE/NR was fixed at 70/30, and these materials were blended with TPS in concentrations varying from 5 to 30% by using a Haake Rheomix 600 mixer. Two series of HDPE/NR/TPS blends were prepared, i.e., with and without compatibilizer. Morphology and tensile properties of the HDPE/NR/TPS blends were evaluated as a function of TPS loading. The tensile strength and elongation at break decreased with the increase of TPS content. However, an improvement in the tensile strength was obtained for compatibilized blends as compared to uncompatibilized blends. The degrees of TPS adhesion and dispersion in HDPE/NR blends were revealed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Results showed that a smaller-sized dispersed phase was achieved for compatibilized blends as compared to that for their uncompatibilized counterparts. J. VINYL ADDIT. TECHNOL., 2012. © 2012 Society of Plastics Engineers
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