Characterization of starch based nanocomposites


The goal of this study was to characterize the nanostructure and the properties of starch based nanocomposites with either cellulose nano whiskers (CNW) or layered silicates (LS) (synthetic hectorite) as reinforcements. Modified potato starch was used as matrix with water and sorbitol as plasticizers and with 5 wt.% of either of the reinforcements. Two methods were explored to prepare samples for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) examination; chemical fixation and freeze etching. It was possible to characterize the nanostructure both parallel and perpendicular to the nanocomposite surface by the freeze etching technique. Both nanocomposites showed well-distributed reinforcements in the starch matrix. Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis showed that the storage modulus was significantly improved at elevated temperatures, especially for the layered silicate nanocomposite. Both nanocomposites showed a significant improvement in tensile properties compared to the pure matrix.

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Borregaard AS (Sarpsborg, Norway) is acknowledged for the MCC and Lyckeby Industrial AB (Kristianstad, Sweden) is acknowledged for the starch. The Norwegian Research Council under the NANOMAT program is acknowledged for financial support of this work. The Laboratory of Active Biobased Materials at RISH, Kyoto University, Japan, and in particular Professor Hiroyuki Yano and Shin-ichirou Iwamoto are acknowledged for providing equipment and help with the formaldehyde treatment of starch. A special thanks to Chiori Itoh and Dr. Thi Thi Nge at The Laboratory of Biomass Morphogenesis and Information at the Research Institute for Sustainable Humanosphere (RISH), Kyoto University, Japan, for all the help with sample preparation and TEM observations.

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Correspondence to Kristiina Oksman.

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Kvien, I., Sugiyama, J., Votrubec, M. et al. Characterization of starch based nanocomposites. J Mater Sci 42, 8163–8171 (2007).

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  • Starch
  • Storage Modulus
  • Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis
  • Layered Silicate
  • Dynamic Mechanical Thermal Analysis