Starch grafted with four different methacrylates was compression molded to form thermoplastic films with good strength and water stability. Starch is an inexpensive and biodegradable polymer but is nonthermoplastic and needs to be chemically modified to make starch suitable for various applications. In this research, starch was grafted with four methacrylates (methyl, ethyl, butyl, and hexyl), and the effect of the length of the alkyl ester group on grafting parameters, thermoplasticity, and properties of thermoplastic films developed have been studied. Influence of grafting conditions on % grafting efficiency, % homopolymers, and % monomer conversion were studied, and the grafted starch was characterized using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR). At similar grafting ratios, butyl methacrylate (BMA) provided better strength and elongation to the starch films than the other three methacrylates. Grafting of methacrylates appears to be an economical approach to develop thermoplastic products from starch.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)