Structural Composition Explains Differences in Stretchability for Compression-Molded Arabinoxylan-Based Thermoplastic Films
Valorization of argi-waste polymers into value-added materials is essential for sustainable development of polymeric industry. Reported herein is a 1-step and 2-step strategy for fabrication of flexible and stretchable thermoplastics prepared by compression molding from two structurally different arabinoxylans (AX). The synthesis was accomplished using n-butyl glycidyl ether whose epoxide ring opened on hydroxyl group and resulted in introduction of alkoxide sidechains for the 1-step synthesis. AX was preactivated by periodate oxidation as 1st step for the 2-step synthesis. Two structurally different AXs, i.e. wheat bran extracted arabinoxylan (AXWB, araf/xylp=3/4) and barley husk extracted arabinoxylan (AXBH, araf/xylp=1/4) were used to understand the effects of the araf/xylp on thermoplastic properties because melt processability has been rare for low araf/xylp AXs. AXBH-derived samples demonstrated melt compression processability. AXWB and AXBH derived thermoplastics featured dual and single glass transition (Tg) characteristics respectively as confirmed by DSC and DMA, but AXBH derived thermoplastics had lower stretchability (maximum 160%) compared to AXWB samples (maximum 300 %). Higher araf/xylp and thus in turn longer alkoxide side chains in AXWB derived thermoplastics explained differences in stretchability.