Obasi Henry C, Igwe Isaac O
Abstract: Blends of plasticized cassava starch (PCS), plasticized compatibilized cassava starch (PCCS) and polypropylene (PP) were prepared using an injection molding process. Tensile, water absorption and biodegradable properties of the blends have been investigated. Here, variable amounts of cassava starch were processed in the presence of glycerol as plasticizer. The incorporation of PCS reduced the tensile strength and elongation at breaks but with an increase in Youngs modulus of the blends. However, on addition of PP-g-MA to the blends, tensile properties were found to improve due to enhanced interfacial adhesion between PCS and PP, which can be proved by the scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observations. The percentage of water absorbed and weight loss of the PCS/PP were higher than the PCCS/PP blends due to poor interfacial adhesion. Biodegradation products of the various blends had no adverse effects on the growth of plants.
Keywords: Cassava starch, polypropylene, glycerol, PP-g-MA, Tensile properties, water absorption, weight loss