Submitted to: Society of Plastics Engineers Proceedings
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/14/2012
Publication Date: 8/1/2012
Citation: Kim, S. 2012. Degradable polymer composites prepared from starch and alkyl cyanoacrylate. Society of Plastics Engineers Proceedings. x.
Interpretive Summary: Degradable polymers have attracted increasing attention over the last two decades because of our environmental concerns. Recently, many research groups have concentrated on the development of biodegradable polymer blends or composites from agricultural commodities. This research describes a new method for the production of degradable polymer composites from starch and a synthetic monomer, ethyl cyanoacrylate. The developed degradable biopolymer composite makes use of the unique properties of starch granules: 1) the moisture on the surface of starch granules causes polymerization of ethyl cyanoacrylate; 2) the body of starch granules acts as a filler; and 3) the micrometer-scale gaps formed by the starch granules satisfy a necessary condition for the polymerization of ethyl cyanoacrylate. The most unique feature of the presented composites is that they can be manufactured in a short time without specialized facilities at ambient temperature. Scientists and manufacturers in industry and academia developing new polymer materials would benefit from this work.
Technical Abstract: This report describes the development of degradable polymer composites that can be made at room temperature without special equipments. The developed composites are made from ethyl cyanoacrylate and starch. The polymer composites produced by this procedure contain 60 wt% of starch with compressive strengths of ca. 80 MPa. The developed polymer composite has the following merits: 1) polymerizable without a catalyst; 2) polymerizable at room temperature; 3) hydrophobic surface – stable upon contact with water; 4) degradable; 5) easily colored via the starch; 6) conductive composites can be manufactured by adding conductive fillers such as carbon black; 7) moldable to any shape; 8) quick setting (about 2-20 minutes, adjustable); 9) excellent mechanical strength; 10) stable at high temperature (up to ~150°C); 11) additional components such as fiber, sand, pebbles, etc can be easily incorporated to improve mechanical properties; and 12) machineable. The most unique feature of the presented composites is that they can be manufactured in a short time without specialized facilities at ambient temperature.