Polímeros: Ciência e Tecnologia
Polímeros: Ciência e Tecnologia
Scientific & Technical Article

Strategies to Improve the Mechanical Properties of Starch-Based Materials: Plasticization and Natural Fibers Reinforcement

Lopez-Gil, A.; Rodriguez-Perez, M. A.; De Saja, J. A.; Bellucci, F. S.; Ardanuy, M.

Downloads: 2
Views: 1756


Biodegradable polymers are starting to be introduced as raw materials in the food-packaging market. Nevertheless, their price is very high. Starch, a fully biodegradable and bioderived polymer is a very interesting alternative due to its very low price. However, the use of starch as the polymer matrix for the production of rigid food packaging, such as trays, is limited due to its poor mechanical properties, high hidrophilicity and high density. This work presents two strategies to overcome the poor mechanical properties of starch. First, the plasticization of starch with several amounts of glycerol to produce thermoplastic starch (TPS) and second, the production of biocomposites by reinforcing TPS with promising fibers, such as barley straw and grape waste. The mechanical properties obtained are compared with the values predicted by models used in the field of composites; law of mixtures, Kerner-Nielsen and Halpin- Tsai. To evaluate if the materials developed are suitable for the production of foodpackaging trays, the TPS-based materials with better mechanical properties were compared with commercial grades of oil-based polymers, polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene-terphthalate (PET), and a biodegradable polymer, polylactic acid (PLA).


Biodegradable, starch, thermoplastic starch, biocomposites, food packaging, natural fibers, barley, grape


1. Davis G. & Song J.H. - Industrial Crops and Products, 23, p. 147-161 (2006).

2. Gaurav Kale, Thitisilp Kijchavengkul, Rafael Auras, Maria Rubino, Susan E. Selke & Sher Paul Singh. - Macromol. Biosci., 7, p. 255–277 (2007).

3. L. Ludueña, A. Vázquez & V. Alvarez. - Carbohydrate Polymers, 87, p.411– 421 (2012).

4. Rafael Auras, Bruce Harte & Susan Selke. - Macromol. Biosci., 4, p. 835-864 (2004)

5. Yves-Marie Corre, Stéphane Bruzaud, Jean-Luc Audic & Yves Grohens. - Polymer Testing, 31, p.226–235 (2012).

6. Suchada Chanprateep. - Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering, 110 No. 6, p. 621– 632 (2010).

7. Giuseppe Mensitieri, Ernesto Di Maio, Giovanna G. Bunocore, Irma Nedi, Maria Oiveiro, Lucia Sansone & Salvatore Iannace. –Trends in Food Science & Technology, 22, p.72-80 (2011).

8. Leon Jansen & Leszek Moscicki. – “Thermoplastic Starch. A green material for various industries”, Wiley VCH, (2009).

9. Kestur G. Satyanarayana, Gregorio G.C. Arizaga & Fernando Wypych.- Progress in Polymer Science, 34, p. 982-1021 (2009).

10. Long Yu, Katerine Dean & Lin Li.- Progress in Polymer Science, 31, p. 576-602 (2006).

11. Martina Wollerdorfer & Herbert Bader.- Industrial Crops and Products, 8, p.105-112 (1998).

12. L.Sobczak, O. Brüggemann & R.F.Putz.-Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 127, p.1-17 (2013).

13. James BeMiller & Roy Whistler. – “Starch. Chemistry and Technology”, Elsevier (2009).

14. Hongbo Li, Michel A & A. Huneault.- Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 119, p.2439-2448 (2011).

15. Kalia.S, Kaith B.S. & and Kaur l. – “Cellulose fibers: Bio- and Nano-Polymer composites”. Springer (2011).

16. Qingzheng Cheng, Siqun Wang, David P. Harper.- Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing, 40, p.583-588 (2009).
588371a47f8c9d0a0c8b49c8 polimeros Articles
Links & Downloads

Polímeros: Ciência e Tecnologia

Share this page
Page Sections