Reactive Blending of Thermoplastic Starch and Epoxidized Natural Rubber with Chitosan as Compatibilizer.
Thermoplastic starch (TPS) was prepared by melt blending cassava starch and glycerol (70/30) at 140 ?C. Chitosan (CTS) was incorporated during TPS preparation. The TPS/CTS sample was melt blended with epoxidized natural rubber (ENR) at 140 ?C. In the TPS/ENR/CTS blend, adding CTS and ENR improved the tensile strength and elongation at break, respectively. Morphology of the TPS/ENR blend showed the dispersion of large-sized ENR particles in the TPS matrix. Adding CTS reduced the size of the ENR particles. Incorporating CTS also enhanced the melt viscosity of the blend, which suggested a reaction between CTS and ENR. FTIR confirmed that the amino groups of CTS reacted with the epoxy groups of ENR. This reaction between the CTS amino groups with the ENR epoxy groups improved the mechanical properties of the TPS/ENR/CTS blend.