Preparation and characterisation of composites from starch and sugar cane fibre
Gilfillan, William N., Nguyen, Danny M. T., Sopade, Peter A., & Doherty, William O. S. (2012) Preparation and characterisation of composites from starch and sugar cane fibre. Industrial Crops and Products, 40, pp. 45-54.
The aim of this study was to prepare and characterise composites of Soluble potato starch or hydroxypropylated maize starch with milled sugar cane fibre (i.e., bagasse). Prior to the preparation of the starch-fibre composites, the ‘cast’ and the ‘hot-pressed’ methods were investigated for the preparation of starch films in order to select the preferred preparation method. The physicochemical and mechanical properties of films conditioned at different relative humidities (RHs) were determined through moisture uptake, crystallinity, glass transition temperature (Tg), thermal properties, molecular structure and tensile tests. Hot-pressed starch films have ~5.5% less moisture, twice the crystallinity (~59%), higher Tg and Young’s modulus than cast starch films. The VH-type starch polymorph was observed to be present in the hot-pressed films. The addition of bagasse fibre to both starch types, prepared by hot-pressing, reduced the moisture uptake by up to 30% (cf., cast film) at 58% RH. The addition of 5 wt% fibre increased the tensile strength and Young’s modulus by 16% and 24% respectively. It significantly decreased the tensile strain by ~53%. Fourier Transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy revealed differences in hydrogen bonding capacity between the films with fibre and those without fibre. The results have been explained on the basis of the intrinsic properties of starch and bagasse fibres.
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