Polymerized solid-type urushiol (YPUOH) with high thermal stability and excellent antimicrobial properties was prepared and incorporated into low-density polyethylene (LDPE) via melt-compounding and subsequent melt-extrusion processes. To investigate the feasibility of as-prepared LDPE/YPUOH composite films for use in packaging applications, the films were characterized as a function of YPUOH using Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), X-ray diffraction (WAXD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), contact angle, and antimicrobial activity assays. The physical properties and antimicrobial activities were found to be strongly dependent upon the changes in chemical and morphological structures originating from different compositions of the composite films. The thermal stability of the composite films was effectively improved with YPUOH addition. Incorporating YPUOH caused the water vapor transmission rate (WVTR) to decrease from 10.3 to 6.5 g/m2day, suggesting that the barrier properties of LDPE, which are relatively good per se, were further improved. Furthermore, the LDPE/YPUOH composite films exhibited good antimicrobial activities against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive micro-organisms. However, the dispersion of YPUOH in the LDPE matrix was not satisfactory due to a weak interaction between LDPE and YPUOH, which may adversely affect the thermal and barrier properties at higher contents of YPUOH. Further studies are required to increase the compatibility and dispersion of YPUOH in the LDPE matrix in order to optimize its performance and expand its applications.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Organic Chemistry
- Materials Chemistry