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Materials Research

Print version ISSN 1516-1439On-line version ISSN 1980-5373


CORRADINI, Elisângela et al. Preparation and characterization of thermoplastic starch/zein blends. Mat. Res. [online]. 2007, vol.10, n.3, pp.227-231. ISSN 1516-1439.

Blends of starch and zein plasticized with glycerol were prepared by melting processing in an intensive batch mixer connected to a torque rheometer at 160 °C. The resulting mixtures were compression molded and then characterized by scanning electron microscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, wide-angle X ray diffraction and water-absorption experiments. The blends were immiscible, showing two distinct phases of starch and zein. The water uptake at equilibrium and its diffusion coefficient were determined. The water uptake at equilibrium decreased with increasing zein content. The diffusion coefficient fell sharply on addition of 20% zein and remained constant as zein content was increased. No appreciable effect of zein on starch crystallization was observed by X ray diffraction. The use of zein in thermoplastic starch compositions causes a decrease in the water sensitivity of these materials and lower its melt viscosity during processing making zein a suitable and very promising component in TPS compositions.

Keywords : biodegradable polymers; thermoplastic starch; zein; polymer blends; thermal properties.

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