Synthesis and characterization of biocomposites based polypropylene/thermoplastic starch- reinforced with natural STIPA TENACISSIMA fibers and PP-g-MA
The current work aims to develop environmentally friendly plastic materials by preparing a composite polypropylene/thermoplastic starch (PP/TPS) using a melt-compounding process. In order to improve the compatibility of the two naturally incompatible polymers, natural Stipa tenacissima fibers treated on their surfaces and polypropylene (PP) pellets grafted with Maleic Anhydride (MA) were added to the mixture (PP and TPS). The mixture was then prepared using the melt-mixing method in various concentrations. X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA)/Differential thermal analysis (DTA), and mechanical tensile tests were then used to characterize the various formulations. SEM images revealed that the addition of (PP-g-MA) and natural fibers resulted in good starch plasticization and higher thermoplastic starch dispersion in the polypropylene matrix. It was also discovered that increasing the TPS concentration over the PP concentration tends to reduce the mechanical tensile properties. However, the composite with 15% TPS had the best mechanical properties. The thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) results revealed that the organic filler used acted as a reinforcing agent, increasing the thermal stability of the polypropylene/thermoplastic starch (PP/TPS) compound.
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