Accelerated degradation studies of starch-filled polyethylene films Academic Article uri icon


  • The degradation of two different starch-polyethylene films containing about 5% by weight (wt %) com starch was investigated. The major difference between the two fils was the presence/absence of a prooxidant additive in the formulation. The accelerated starch biodegradation of the films was investigated by using a buffered Bacillus sp. α-amylase solution whereas oxidative degradation of the polyethylene was hastened by mcubating the starch-polyethylene films in a forced-air oven at 70 °C. The progress of degradation was followed by monitoring physical and chemical changes of the samples by using tensile strength and elongation testings, high-temperature gel permeation chromatography, infrared spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy. The films without a prooxidant additive did not change significantly during the heat treatment. The films containig a prooxidant lost their physical properties after 20 days of heat treatment. The amount of starch hydrolyzed by α-amylase was directly related to physical properties of the polyethylene films. The levels of starch degradation ranged between 10 and 50 wt % of initial starch, depending on the extent of the polyethylene degradation. © 1992, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Sung, W., & Nikolov, Z. L.

citation count

  • 30

publication date

  • October 1992