Effect of Glycerol on the Functional Properties of Chitosan/PEO Films
Polymer blending is a productive technique for granting attractive properties in polymeric materials which are advantageous for the packaging industry. In the present investigation, blended films of chitosan/poly (ethylene oxide) (PEO) were synthesized in different proportions of weight in the presence and absence of glycerol. Presence of distinctive peaks of chitosan and PEO at 1656 cm−1 and 843 cm−1 separately confirms the blending of chitosan/PEO. Simultaneously widening of peaks at 3380 cm−1 and 1656 cm−1 can be credited to the inter-molecular hydrogen bonding between chitosan/PEO films which thereby support blending. The physico-mechanical, barrier, optical, thermal, surface morphology and biodegradation properties of chitosan and PEO blended films with and without glycerol were estimated. It was seen that the tensile strength of the blended films diminished. Haze values of chitosan/PEO blended films with glycerol (20%) diminished from 17.7% for C100 to 3.7% for pure PEO bringing about an increase in transparency of the films that could be due to the plasticized effect. The outcomes indicate that in the presence of glycerol (20%), there is an increment of the elongation at break by more than 150%, inferring that these chitosan/PEO films could be suitably used in elastic and stretchable packaging. These films with high WVTR values can be utilized for fresh produce to control moisture evaporation and upgrades their shelf life. These films biodegrade or disintegrate within five weeks.
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