Moisture and tensile strength properties of starch-sugar cane nanofibre films
There is an increasing need for biodegradable, environmentally friendly plastics to replace the petroleum-based non-degradable plastics which litter and pollute the environment. Starch-based plastic film composites are becoming a popular alternative because of their low cost, biodegradability, the abundance of starch, and ease with which starch-based films can be chemically modified. This paper reports on the results of using sugar cane bagasse nanofibres to improve the physicochemical properties of starch-based polymers. The addition of bagasse nanofibre (2.5, 5, 10 or 20 wt%) to (modified) potato starch (‘Soluble starch’) reduced the moisture uptake by up to 17 % at 58 % relative humidity (RH). The film’s tensile strength and Young’s Modulus increased by up to 100 % and 200 % with 10 wt% and 20 wt% nanofibre respectively at 58% RH. The tensile strain reduced by up to 70 % at 20 wt% fibre loading. These results indicate that addition of sugar cane bagasse nanofibres significantly improved the properties of starch-based plastic films
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