Preparation and Characterization of Composites Based on Polylactic Acid and Beeswax with Improved Water Vapor Barrier Properties

Jung Hoon Lim, Jeong Ae Kim, Jung A. Ko, Hyun Jin Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Beeswax and a plasticizer (ATBC) were added to polylactic acid (PLA) films in order to enhance the water vapor barrier properties of the films. Beeswax improved the barrier properties; the water vapor permeability in the composite containing 1% beeswax was 58% lower than that of the neat PLA. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction analysis revealed that the incorporation of beeswax and ATBC had so little effect on the PLA structure. In addition, the structure of PLA did not vary substantially with the additions. The surfaces of the composites were examined by using field emission scanning electron microscopy. Differential scanning calorimetry results showed that the degree of crystallinity of the PLA films increased with the addition of beeswax and ATBC. However, the tensile strength and elongation at break of the composites containing beeswax were up to approximately 50% lower than those of the neat PLA. Although further study is needed to improve the mechanical properties, the aforementioned results showed that the PLA barrier properties can be improved by the incorporation of a small amount of beeswax and ATBC. Practical Application: The results of this study can be applied for the preparation of PLA composite films with improved barrier properties. Such biodegradable films are extremely useful for applications in the food packaging industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E2471-E2477
JournalJournal of Food Science
Volume80
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 1

Keywords

  • Beeswax
  • Plasticizer
  • Polylactic acid
  • WVP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science

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