Mechanical properties and degradation of starch-based biopolymers as a result of processing
The development of plastics from renewable resources is a growing market. However, when processed, biopolymers undergo molecular weight degradation which influences their properties. In order to improve these properties and to increase the lifetime of a product based on biopolymers, the degradation behaviour during processing has to be identified. In this thesis, degradation mechanisms for starch-based biopolymers are described. Based on the relation between average molecular weight and zero shear viscosity, degradation of PHBV was examined. In preliminary testing, it was found out that PHBV is highly prone to thermal load resulting in degradation. Mechanical shear shows only minor effect on the change in zero shear viscosity. Hydrolysis and (thermo-)oxidative effects did not show significant influence on degradation of PHBV. It was found out that the parameters, temperature, screw speed and throughput affect degradation of PHBV in twin screw extrusion processing. A relation between degradation and influencing factors was formulated. The effect of degradation on mechanical properties, Young’s modulus, tensile strength, elongation at break and impact strength has been investigated.
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Magíster en Ingeniería Mecánica