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Preparation of Polylactic Acid Graft Polyvinyl Acetate Compatibilizers for 50/50 Starch/PLLA Blending

Authors: S. Buchatip, A. Petchsuk


Polylactic acid-g-polyvinyl acetate (PLLA-g-PVAc) was used as a compatibilizer for 50/50 starch/PLLA blend. PLLA-g- PVAc with different mol% of PVAc contents were prepared by grafting PVAc onto PLLA backbone via free radical polymerization in solution process. Various conditions such as type and the amount of initiator, monomer concentration, polymerization time and temperature were studied. Results showed that the highest mol% of PVAc grafting (16 mol%) was achieved by conducting graft copolymerization in toluene at 110°C for 10 h using DCP as an initiator. Chemical structure of the PVAc grafted PLLA was confirmed by 1H NMR. Blending of modified starch and PLLA in the presence compatibilizer with different amounts and mol% PVAc was acquired using internal mixer at 160°C for 15 min. Effects of PVAc content and the amount of compatibilizer on mechanical properties of polymer blend were studied. Results revealed that tensile strength and tensile modulus of polymer blend with higher PVAc grafting content compatibilizer showed better properties than that of lower PVAc grafting content compatibilizer. The amount of compatibilizer was found optimized in the range of 0.5-1.0 Wt% depending on the mol% PVAc.

Keywords: starch, PLLA, compatibilizer, free radical polymerization, blending

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