A biodegradable polymer using gaur gum and chitosan (which is extracted from crabs and shrimps) can be used as good packaging material. The material is water repellent, high in mechanical strengh and can withstand harsh environmental conditions.
The polymer is essentially polysaccarides, a sugar. The previously developed polysaccarides-based packaging material had low mechanical strength and would dissolve in water—hence they could not be used as packaging material.
But now, Dr. Devasish Chowdhury, Associate Professor, and Sazzadur Rahman, Inspire Junior Research Fellow, fabricated a guar gum-chitosan composite film which is a cross-linked polysaccharide without using any plasticizer with the help of a method called the solution casting method (a simple technique to make polymer films).
The researchers found that the fabricated crosslinked film did not dissolve in water even after 240 hours. In addition, the mechanical strength of crosslinked guar gum-chitosan composite film was higher compared to general biopolymer (Biopolymer are known to possess poor strength). The cross-linked guar gum-chitosan composite film was also highly water repellent or hydrophobic due to its high contact angle of 92.8º. It had low water vapor permeability when compared with the film made only from chitosan.
The superior mechanical strength, water repellent properties, and resistance to harsh environmental conditions of the fabricated cross-linked guar gum-chitosan increase it’s potential of being used in packaging applications.
For further details, contact:
Dr. Devasish Chowdhury: email@example.com