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Thermal and mechanical properties of fatty acid starch esters

: Winkler, H.; Vorwerg, W.; Rihm, R.


Carbohydrate polymers 102 (2014), S.941-949
ISSN: 0144-8617
ISSN: 1879-1344
Fraunhofer IAP ()

The current study examined thermal and mechanical properties of fatty acid starch esters (FASEs). All highly soluble esters were obtained by the sustainable, homogeneous transesterification of fatty acid vinyl esters in dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO). Casted films of products with a degree of substitution (DS) of 1.40-1.73 were compared with highly substituted ones (DS 2.20-2.63). All films were free of any plasticizer additives. Hydrophobic surfaces were characterized by contact angle measurements. Dynamic scanning calorimetry (DSC) and dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) revealed thermal transitions (T-g, T-m) which were influenced by the internal plasticizing effect of the ester groups. Thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) measurements showed the increased thermal stability toward native starch. Tensile tests revealed the decreasing strength and stiffness of the products with increasing ester-group chain length while the elongation increased up to the ester group laurate and after that decreased. Esters of the longest fatty acids, palmitate and stearate turned out to be brittle materials due to super molecular structures of the ester chains such as confirmed by X-ray. Summarized products with a DS 1.40-1.73 featured more "starch-like" properties with tensile strength up to outstanding 43 MPa, while products with a DS >2 behaved more "oil-like". Both classes of esters should be tested as a serious alternative to commercial starch blends and petrol-based plastics. The term C-number is attributed to the number of total C-Atoms of the fatty acid (e.g. C-6 = Hexanoate).