A Deeper Microscopic Study of the Interaction between Gum Rosin Derivatives and a Mater-Bi Type Bioplastic

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The interaction between gum rosin and gum rosin derivatives with Mater-Bi type bioplastic, a biodegradable and compostable commercial bioplastic, were studied. Gum rosin and two pentaerythritol esters of gum rosin (Lurefor 125 resin and Unik Tack P100 resin) were assessed as sustainable compatibilizers for the components of Mater-Bi® NF 866 polymeric matrix. To study the influence of each additive in the polymeric matrix, each gum rosin-based additive was compounded in 15 wt % by melt-extrusion and further injection molding process. Then, the mechanical properties were assessed, and the tensile properties and impact resistance were determined. Microscopic analyses were carried out by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM) and atomic force microscopy with nanomechanical assessment (AFM-QNM). The oxygen barrier and wettability properties were also assayed. The study revealed that the commercial thermoplastic starch is mainly composed of three phases: A polybutylene adipate-co-terephthalate (PBAT) phase, an amorphous phase of thermoplastic starch (TPSa), and a semi-crystalline phase of thermoplastic starch (TPSc). The poor miscibility among the components of the Mater-Bi type bioplastic was confirmed. Finally, the formulations with the gum rosin and its derivatives showed an improvement of the miscibility and the solubility of the components depending on the additive used.
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