This contribution outlines the new developments in thermoplastic starch-based (nano)composites useful for more specific applications compatible with our environment, partially based on our ongoing research over the past few years. Accordingly, melt-intercalating starch macromomolecules into layered silicates (e.g., natural clays) has proved to be an efficient way for preparation of thermoplastic starch-layered silicate nanocomposites with interesting thermo-mechanical properties, as well as improved solvent-resistance. Cellulosic (nano)whiskers were also added as another environmentally benign (nano)filler in starch-based compositions. The design of such thermoplastic starch-based (nano)composites with enhanced properties relies upon the control over the phase behavior and morphology of the nanofiller within the matrix by more defined interfacial compatibility as well as by fine tuning of processing parameters. A special emphasis was also given to the introduction of layered silicates (nano)filler in biodegradable melt-blends made of hydrophilic thermoplastic starch and hydrophobic biodegradable polyesters as a valuable way to increase the compatibility between the two polymeric partners.
|ScienceOpen disciplines:||Polymer science, Materials technology, Materials characterization, General engineering, Polymer chemistry|