Polymer nanocomposites are increasingly important in food packaging sectors. Biopolymer pullulan is promising in manufacturing packaging films or coatings due to its excellent optical clarity, mechanical strength, and high water-solubility as compared to other biopolymers. This work aims to enhance its oxygen barrier properties and overcome its intrinsic brittleness by utilizing two-dimensional planar graphene oxide (GO) nanoplatelets. It has been found that the addition of only 0.2 wt% of GO enhanced the tensile strength, Young's modulus, and elongation at break of pullulan films by about 40, 44 and 52%, respectively. The light transmittance at 550 nm of the pullulan/GO films was 92.3% and haze values were within 3.0% threshold, which meets the general requirement for food packaging materials. In particular, the oxygen permeability coefficient of pullulan was reduced from 6337 to 2614 mL μm m(-2) (24 h(-1)) atm(-1) with as low as 0.05 wt% of GO loading and further to 1357 mL μm m(-2) (24 h(-1)) atm(-1) when GO concentration reached 0.3 wt%. The simultaneous improvement of the mechanical and oxygen barrier properties of pullulan was ascribed to the homogeneous distribution and prevalent unidirectional alignment of GO nanosheets, as determined from the characterization and theoretical modelling results. The exceptional oxygen barrier properties of pullulan/GO nanocomposites with enhanced mechanical flexibility and good optical clarity will add new values to high performance food packaging materials.
|Titolo:||Exceptional oxygen barrier performance of pullulan nanocomposites with ultra-low loading of graphene oxide|
FARRIS, STEFANO (Ultimo)
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore AGR/15 - Scienze e Tecnologie Alimentari|
Settore CHIM/05 - Scienza e Tecnologia dei Materiali Polimerici
|Data di pubblicazione:||10-lug-2015|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1088/0957-4484/26/27/275703|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|