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PEIXOTO, Thamires da Silva et al. Crosslinking starch/oat hull mixtures for use in composites with PLA. Polímeros [online]. 2019, vol.29, n.3, e2019040.  Epub Oct 10, 2019. ISSN 1678-5169.

Modification of composite components has been proposed as a tool to improve their functional properties. The present work studied crosslinking of a starch/oat hull mixture by reactive extrusion with sodium trimetaphosphate (STMP), for application in composites with polylactic acid (PLA). The treated mixture was characterized regarding degree of substitution, FT-IR, and thermal properties. The native and modified mixtures were processed by injection molding, together with PLA and glycerol. The microstructure, mechanical properties, shrinkage, density, and thermal properties of the composites were determined. The FT-IR results, increase in phosphorus content and thermal stability after starch/fiber mixture treatment with STMP suggested the occurrence of crosslinking. Better interfacial adhesion between oat hulls and the polymeric matrix was observed in electron micrographs of the composites containing the modified components. Slight decreases in tensile strength and modulus were observed in the modified composites, suggesting that extrusion and subsequent milling may have broken some structures/linkages.

Keywords : biocomposites; reactive extrusion; lignocellulosic fibers; injection molding; reticulation.

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