Journal of Metals, Materials and Minerals

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Chitosan (CTS) composite films were prepared by blending CTS with virgin or modified montmorillonite (vMMT or mMMT, respectively) and then spin coating. XRD analysis showed a good intercalation of CTS and the mMMT in the depolymerized 15 kDa CTS/mMMT composite. The tensile strength and rigidity of the CTS/vMMT and CTS/mMMT composite films increased, whilst the elongation at break decreased, with increasing levels of vMMT or, especially, mMMT from 0.1 to 2% (w/w). Both types of CTS/MMT composite films displayed a decreased oil and water absorption with increasing levels of incorporated vMMT or mMMT. Some aggregation of vMMT but not mMMT was observed by SEM analysis at a MMT content from 1% (w/w) upwards in the CTS/MMT composite films. The growth of spores and subsequent mycelia of the plant pathogenic fungi, Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, through the CTS, CTS/vMMT and CTS/mMMT composite films was inhibited.

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