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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Bioproducts Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #209918

Title: Properties of foam and composite materials made o starch and cellulose fiber

item Glenn, Gregory - Greg
item Klamczynski, Artur
item Wood, Delilah - De
item Imam, Syed
item Orts, William

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/24/2006
Publication Date: 4/26/2006
Citation: Glenn, G.M., Klamczynski, A., Wood, D.F., Imam, S.H., Orts, W.J. 2006. Properties of foam and composite materials made o starch and cellulose fiber. Meeting Abstract. Composits Materials Conference in Gramado, Brazil, April 23026, 2007.

Interpretive Summary: Composite materials reinforced with fiber comprise a multibillion dollar industry. Plant fibers are a good choice to use in composite materials to make them “greener” because they are biodegradable and renewable. This study shows how starch slurries can be used to make feedstocks for foam composites using two separate processing methods.

Technical Abstract: Composite materials were made of starch and cellulose fibers. Pre-gelatinized starch was effective in dispersing pulp fiber in a starch matrix to form a viscous starch/fiber dough. The starch/fiber dough was a useful feedstock for various composite foam and plastic materials. Viscous blends of starch and fiber were baked in vented molds to produce composite foams that were similar in appearance to polystyrene foam. The flexural strength of the foam composites was increased by using fibers with greater fiber length. The foam composite was comprised of a porous, dense outer skin and a less dense core. Viscous blends of starch and fiber were also cast in molds and allowed to gel overnight at 4°C. The gels were dehydrated in a graded ethanol series and dried in nitrogen to form a porous composite foam. The foam was compressed into a starch plastic with tensile strength greater than 24 MPa. Viscous blends of starch and fiber were also extruded, dried and pelletized and compounded to form a feedstock that could be foamed by extrusion.