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Flexible starch-polyurethane films: Physiochemical characteristics and hydrophobicity

Tai, N.L., Adhikari, Raju, Shanks, Robert, Adhikari, Benu
Carbohydrate polymers 2017 v.163 pp. 236-246
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, ambient temperature, amylose, carbohydrate structure, composite materials, contact angle, films (materials), gelatinization, glycerol, hydrophobicity, mechanical properties, mixing, polyethylene, urethane
Starch-polyurethane (PU) composite films with improved mechanical and hydrophobic properties were developed in this work. A simple and effective microwave-aided starch gelatinisation instrument was used to prepare glycerol plasticized high amylose starch (HAGS) material. Polyethylene glycol-isocyanate (PEG-iso) linker was prepared by reacting PEG 1000 with hexamethylene diisocyanate (HMDI). PEG-iso linker was then grafted into HAGS forming three dimensional urethane networks (PEG-PU). HAGS-PEG-PU composite blends were prepared and dried at ambient temperature to obtain HAGS-PEG-PU films. The mechanical properties and hydrophobicity (as contact angle, CA) of the HAGS-PEG-PU films were measured and analysed. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy showed good grafting of PEG-iso into starch structure. Increase of PEG-iso concentration up to 20% (w/w) improved the molecular mixing and interpenetration between the starch and PEG-PU. The HAGS-PEG-PU films had improved hydrophobicity as indicated by CA values ranging from 51 to 110°and very high flexibility as evidenced from elongation at break (εB) values from 17 to 1000%. The HAGS-PEG-PU film formulation containing 20% (w/w) PEG-iso provided the best flexibility (εB>1000%) and hydrophobicity (CA>110°).