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Open AccessArticle

Properties and Characterization of a PLA–Chitin–Starch Biodegradable Polymer Composite

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Department of Industrial and Production Engineering, Federal University of Technology, P.M.B.740 Akure, Nigeria
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School of Industrial Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia,11800 Penang, Malaysia
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Department of Chemical Engineering, Universitas Sumatera Utara, Medan 20155, Indonesia
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Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universitas Syiah Kuala, Banda Aceh 23111, Indonesia
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Department of Chemical, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Tshwane University of Technology, P.M.B. X680 Pretoria, South Africa
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DST-/CSIR National Centre for Nanostructured Materials, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria 0001, South Africa
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1656; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101656 (registering DOI)
Received: 17 September 2019 / Revised: 8 October 2019 / Accepted: 8 October 2019 / Published: 11 October 2019
This paper presents a comparison on the effects of blending chitin and/or starch with poly(lactic acid) (PLA). Three sets of composites (PLA–chitin, PLA–starch and PLA–chitin–starch) with 92%, 94%, 96% and 98% PLA by weight were prepared. The percentage weight (wt.%) amount of the chitin and starch incorporated ranges from 2% to 8%. The mechanical, dynamic mechanical, thermal and microstructural properties were analyzed. The results from the tensile strength, yield strength, Young's modulus, and impact showed that the PLA–chitin–starch blend has the best mechanical properties compared to PLA–chitin and PLA–starch blends. The dynamic mechanical analysis result shows a better damping property for PLA–chitin than PLA–chitin–starch and PLA–starch. On the other hand, the thermal property analysis from thermogravimetry analysis (TGA) shows no significant improvement in a specific order, but the glass transition temperature of the composite increased compared to that of neat PLA. However, the degradation process was found to start with PLA–chitin for all composites, which suggests an improvement in PLA degradation. Significantly, the morphological analysis revealed a uniform mix with an obvious blend network in the three composites. Interestingly, the network was more significant in the PLA–chitin–starch blend, which may be responsible for its significantly enhanced mechanical properties compared with PLA–chitin and PLA–starch samples. View Full-Text
Keywords: biopolymer; starch; biodegradable; chitin; degradation biopolymer; starch; biodegradable; chitin; degradation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Olaiya, N.; Surya, I.; Oke, P.; Rizal, S.; Sadiku, E.; Ray, S.; Farayibi, P.; Hossain, M.S.; Abdul Khalil, H. Properties and Characterization of a PLA–Chitin–Starch Biodegradable Polymer Composite. Polymers 2019, 11, 1656.

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