LDPE/RH/MAPE/MMT Nanocomposite Films for Packaging Applications
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The ever-growing demand for the development of high-performance packaging films and the equally growing need to protect our environment has led to intense research in the manufacture of eco-friendly films with good mechanical and barrier properties. Rice husk (RH)/montmorillonite (MMT) filled and maleic anhydride-grafted polyethylene (MAPE) compatibilized LDPE films were prepared by extrusion blown film. MAPE, RH and MMT were used in various loading to study their effect on the mechanical, oxygen barrier and morphological properties. Results revealed that MAPE helped LDPE chains to delaminate MMT platelets and distribute RH/MMT uniformly in the LDPE matrix. In addition, mechanical and barrier properties of nanocomposite films prepared by MAPE as compatibilizer are better than those without compatibilizer. Increasing RH content in RH/MMT filler deteriorated mechanical and barrier properties. Increasing MMT content into RH/MMT filler-filled LDPE nanocomposite films improved the tensile and barrier properties significantly, and the films containing 4 phc MMT, 3wt% RH and 6wt% MAPE are the optimum formulation as evidenced by mechanical properties and oxygen permeability. The unique combination of mechanical properties and oxygen permeability for RH/MMT filler-filled LDPE composite films shows that these nanocomposite films are potential candidate for a variety of packaging applications.
KeywordsMontmorillonite Rice husk Maleic anhydride-grafted polyethylene Low-density polyethylene Nanocomposites Mechanical properties Barrier properties
The authors wish to acknowledge the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Fundamental Research Grant Scheme 78354, sub-code: 3F302 and Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) for financial support.
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