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Polymer Degradation and Stability
96, No. xx, 2011; Pages: 33 - 42

Mechanical, morphological and biodegradation studies of microwave processed nanostructured blends of some bio-based oil epoxies with poly (vinyl alcohol)

Ufana Riaz, S.M. Ashraf , H.O. Sharma

Materials Research Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi 110025, India.


Bioresource based blends exploit the synergy between polymers derived from renewable resource and commercial polymers to obtain desirable physical, mechanical, and biodegradable properties. With the aim to develop a sustainable resource based biodegradable mulch films, nanostructured blends of epoxies of linseed oil (LOE) and dehydrated castor oil (DCOE) with poly (vinyl alcohol) (PVA) were prepared in the weight ratios of 20/80, 50/50 and 80/20. Microwave-assisted blending was used for the synthesis of DCOE/LOE blends with PVA and the results were compared with conventional solution blending using FT-IR, TGA-DTA and optical measurements. The results revealed that microwave-assisted blending proved to be an efficient method for the formation of compatible blends in a short span of time as compared to conventional solution blending. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis of DCOE/PVA and LOE/PVA blends synthesized by microwave-assisted method confirmed the formation of a nanostructured blend. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), respirometry and mechanical measurements were carried out to compare the morphology, biodegradability, and the mechanical strength of DCOE/PVA and LOE/PVA blends. It was observed that DCOE/PVA blends exhibited higher biodegradability, better mechanical properties, and lower moisture absorption characteristics as compared to LOE/ PVA blends. The mechanical strength, moisture absorption, and biodegradability of these blends were also compared with blends of other bioresource based polymers such as sugarcane bagasse (SCB), waste gelation (WG), apple peal (AP), and starch/glycerol with PVA, as available from the cited literature in the text.

Keywords:Biodegradation, Soil burial, Microwave blending, Nanostructured blends, Oil epoxy.


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