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Biodegradable Nanocomposites Based on Blends of Poly(Butylene Adipate–Co–Terephthalate) (PBAT) and Thermoplastic Starch Filled with Montmorillonite (MMT): Physico-Mechanical Properties

Poly(butylene adipate–co–terephthalate) (PBAT) is widely used for production of biodegradable films due to its high elongation, excellent flexibility, and good processability properties. An effective way to develop more accessible PBAT-based bioplastics for wide application in packaging is blending of PBAT with thermoplastic starch (TPS) since PBAT is costly with prices approximately double or even triple the prices of traditional plastics like polyethylene. This study is focused on investigating the influence of TPS/PBAT blend ratio and montmorillonite (MMT) content on the physical and mechanical properties and molecular mobility of TPS–MMT/PBAT nanocomposites. Obtained TPS–MMT/PBAT nanocomposites through the melt blending process were characterized using tensile testing, dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA), and X-ray diffraction (XRD), as well as solid-state 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy. Mechanical properties demonstrated that the addition of TPS to PBAT leads to a substantial decrease in the tensile strength as well as in the elongation at break, while Young’s modulus is rising substantially, while the effect of the MMT addition is almost negligible on the tensile stress of the blends. DMTA results confirmed the formation of TPS domains in the PBAT matrix. With increasing TPS content, mobility of starch-rich regions of TPS domains slightly increases. However, molecular mobility in glycerol-rich regions of TPS domains in the blends was slightly restricted. Moreover, the data obtained from 13C CP/MAS NMR spectra indicated that the presence of TPS in the sample decreases the mobility of the PBAT chains, mainly those located at the TPS/PBAT interfaces.

Publication date: 23/01/2024

Author: Hamed Peidayesh

Reference: doi: 10.3390/ma17030540

MDPI (materials)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.