Properties of blends of starch and synthetic polymers containing anhydride groups. II. Effect of amylopectin to amylose ratio in starch

Mrinal Bhattacharya, Utpal R. Vaidya, Dongmei Zhang, Ramani Narayan

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Corn starch with different amylopectin to amylose ratios was blended with styrene maleic anhydride copolymer (SMA) and ethylene–propylene‐g‐maleic anhydride copolymer (EPMA). The starch had an amylose content of approximately 0, 50, and 70%. The concentration of starch in the blend was kept constant at 60% by weight. The samples were melt blended in a corotating twin screw extruder. Scanning electron micrographs showed that the amount of starch granules remaining in the samples varied with the torque. Optical micrograph showed that starch/EPMA blends formed a cocontinuous phase in all blends irrespective of starch variety. For starch/SMA blends, the starch granules remained dispersed in the SMA phase. The torque during blending, tensile strength, water absorption, storage and loss modulus, and data on biodegradability of the blends are presented. Tensile strength and water absorption correlated well with the torque generated during blending: the higher the torque, the lower the tensile strength and the higher the water absorption. The tensile strength of blends containing SMA decreased when the humidity increased. Fractured surfaces of starch/SMA blends exhibited brittle failure; for the ductile starch/EPMA blends, shear tearing appeared to be the major failure mechanism. For blends containing EPMA, the percentage elongation increased with increased humidity. Dynamic mechanical analysis of the blends showed two sharp peaks for tan δ vs. temperature plot for starch/EPMA plots, but showed a single peak for starch/SMA blends. Starch/EPMA blends had a higher percentage of water aborption that became constant after 20 days. Using the ASTM test method D5902, the starch content in the samples was found to degrade. © 1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-554
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 1 1995

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