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Polymers 2018, 10(9), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym10090977

Enhanced Flexibility of Biodegradable Polylactic Acid/Starch Blends Using Epoxidized Palm Oil as Plasticizer

1
Department of Biotechnology Engineering, Kulliyyah of Engineering, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Jalan Gombak, 53100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2
Department of Manufacturing and Materials Engineering, Kulliyyah of Engineering, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Jalan Gombak, 53100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3
Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), 81310 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 July 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 27 August 2018 / Published: 2 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Green Plasticizers for Polymers)
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Abstract

The brittleness of polylactic acid (PLA) has always limited its usage, although it has good mechanical strength. In this study, flexibility of PLA/starch (PSt) blend was enhanced using epoxidized palm oil (EPO) as the green plasticizer. The PLA/starch/EPO (PSE) blends were prepared while using the solution casting method by fixing the content of starch and varying ratio of EPO. The thermal properties, such as glass transition temperature (Tg), melting temperature (Tm), and crystallization temperature (Tcc) were decreased by increasing the amount of EPO into PSt, indicating that EPO increases the chain mobility. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) showed that thermal degradation resistance of PSE was higher when compared to PSt. The mechanical testing revealed that EPO at all contents improved the mechanical properties, such as increment of the elongation-at-break and impact strength. Whereas, dynamic mechanical analysis showed that the addition of filler into PLA decreased the storage modulus of PLA. The carbonyl group of the aliphatic ester remained the same in the PSE blends. The morphological study verified the ductility of PSE blends surface when compared to the brittle surface of PSt. As for the soil burial tests, EPO accelerated the degradation of blends. From these results, it can be concluded that EPO improved the flexibility of PLA blends. View Full-Text
Keywords: polylactic acid; biodegradable; starch; epoxidized palm oil; solution casting; green plasticizer polylactic acid; biodegradable; starch; epoxidized palm oil; solution casting; green plasticizer
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Awale, R.J.; Ali, F.B.; Azmi, A.S.; Puad, N.I.M.; Anuar, H.; Hassan, A. Enhanced Flexibility of Biodegradable Polylactic Acid/Starch Blends Using Epoxidized Palm Oil as Plasticizer. Polymers 2018, 10, 977.

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