Tartaric Acid Cross-Linking of Starch: Effect of Reaction Conditions on the Maximum Tensile Strength of Cast Plastic Films

Arturo José Mendoza


Modification of starch by cross-linking is used in many fields, as the process improves many of the properties of starch, yet most cross-linking agents in common use tend to be toxic, expensive, or both. Polycarboxylic acids could function as nontoxic alternatives to these – some, such as tartaric acid (TA) being also of low cost. This study presents a method to cross-link thermoplastic starch films with TA, as well as the effect of this modification on the tensile strength of the material when films are prepared using different reaction conditions. An increase in strength was observed, which is believed to occur due to an increase in the London dispersion forces acting within the cross-linked starch (CLS). The greatest observed increase in the maximum tensile strength of the plastic was 6%. Monosodium tartrate was used as a catalyst for the cross-linking reaction. The maximum tensile strengths of the plastics produced were determined by using adapted binder clips, a hook (total mass 10g) and hanging masses to subject films of the plastics to progressively greater tension. Incremental weights of 10g were used, with recorded tensions at fracture of 1.2~8.9 N.


Starch; Cross-Link; Tartaric Acid; Tensile Strength; Bioplastic

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13034/jsst.v8i3.67


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