Compatibility improvement of poly(lactic acid)/thermoplastic starch blown films using acetylated starch
AbstractThe present research aims to improve the compatibility between relatively hydrophobic poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and hydrophilic thermoplastic starch (TPS) and the properties of the PLA/TPS blends by replacing TPS from native cassava starch (TPSN) with TPS from acetylated starch (TPSA). The effects of the degree of acetylation (DA) of acetylated starch, that is, 0.021, 0.031, and 0.074, on the morphological characteristics and properties of PLA/TPS blend are investigated. The melt blends of PLA and TPS with a weight proportion of PLA:TPS of 50:50 are fabricated and then blown into films. Scanning electron microscopy confirms the dispersion of TPS phase in the PLA matrix. Better dispersion and smaller size of the TPS phase are observed for the PLA/TPSA blend films with low DA of acetylated starch, resulting in improved tensile and barrier properties and increased storage modulus, thermal stability, and Tg, Tcc, and Tm of PLA. Elongation at break of the PLA/TPSA blend increases up to 57%, whereas its water vapor permeability and oxygen permeability decrease about 15%. The obtained PLA/TPSA blend films have the potential to be applied as biodegradable flexible packaging.