Corn starches with approximately 72% and 100 % of amylopectin were processed in an intensive mixer connected to a torque rheometer in the presence of glycerol (plasticizer) at 160ºC. The thermoplastic starches were conditioned at 53 ± 2% of relative humidity for two weeks and characterized by X-ray diffraction, tensile test and dynamical mechanical analysis (DMA). The starch with lower amylopectin content presented higher viscosity during the processing which was attributed to linear amylose chains. The thermoplastic starches TPS1 (72% of amylopectin) and TPS2 (100% of amylopectin) did not display significant differences in water absorption. After two weeks of aging, TPS1 exhibited semicrystalline structure, whereas TPS2 presented a amorphous structure. After six weeks, the crystallinity of TPS1 increased and some crystalline behavior could be detected in TPS2. The mechanical and dynamical mechanical properties were affected by starch crystallinity, which is a function of amylose/amylopectin ratio.
Thermoplastic starch; amylose; amylopectin; mechanical properties; DMA; X-ray; diffraction