Potato Starch Based Resilient Thermoplastic Foams



Assuming a starch based material can be found able to replace extruded polystyrene foam, a renewable alternative would be available that strongly reduces the amount of foamed plastics in waste streams. In this study it is shown that by the foaming of potato starch based expandable beads such a material can be produced. Expandable beads out of pure potato starch were produced by extrusion compounding. Extrusion conditions and material composition were chosen such as to enable full destructurization of the starch while minimizing degradation. Extrusion yielded totally amorphous expandable beads with a glass transition temperature ranging from 70 to 120°C, depending on the water concentration. In a successive step, the expandable beads were foamed on an injection molding machine. The resulting foam properties depended strongly on the actual processing conditions and on the plasticizer content. A material composition and processing conditions were found that facilitate the processing of potato starch into resilient thermoplastic foams. At a density of 35 kg/m3 and an average cell size of 85 µm, the properties of these foams are comparable to those of extruded polystyrene foam.


Glass Transition Temperature Potato Starch Nucleate Agent Native Starch Injection Speed 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Belloti, V., Bastioli, C., Rallis, A. and Del Tredici, G., 1995, Expanded articles of biodegradable plastic material and a process for the preparation thereof, EP0667369.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lacourse, N. and Altieri, 1989 P. Biodegradable packaging material and the method of preparation thereof, US4,863,655Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Tatarka, P.D. and Cunningham, R.L., 1998, Properties of protective loose-fill foams, J. Appl. Pol. Sci. 67 (7), pp. 1157–1176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Aichholzer, W. and Fritz, H-G, 1996, Charakterisierung der Stärkedestrukturierung bei der Aufbereitung von bioabbaubaren Polymerwerkstoffen. In Stärke 48 (11 / 12), pp. 434–444CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Van Soest, J. ,1996, PhD thesis Starch plastics: structure-property relationships, University of UtrechtGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Della Valle, G., Vergnes, B., Colonna, P. and Patria, A., 1997, Relations between rheological properties of molten starches and their expansion behaviour in extrusion, J. Food Eng. 31 (3), pp. 277–295CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Van Heur B., 1991, PhD Thesis In-situ foaming and its application in the production of a leading edge, Delft University of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Throne, J. 1996, Thermoplastic foams, Sherwood Publishers, HincklyGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hobbs S.Y., 1975, Bubble growth in thermoplastic structural foams, G.E.P. technical information series, nr. 75CRD210Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gent, A.N. and Tompkins, D.A., 1969, Nucleation and growth of gas bubbles in elastomers, J. Appl. Physics 40 (6), p. 2520CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Han, C.D. and Villamizar, C.A., 1978, Studies on structural foam processing I, the rheology of foam extrusion., Pol. Eng. Sci. 18 (9), pp. 687–698CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Villamizar, C.A. and Han, C.D., 1978, Studies on structural foam processing II, bubble dynamics in foam injection molding, Pol. Eng. Sci. 18 (9), pp. 699–710CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gibson, L. and Ashby, M, 1988, Cellular solids; structures and properties, Pergamon Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of polymers, composites and additivesATOWageningenThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations