Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/10/2009
Publication Date: 5/3/2009
Citation: Kim, S., Xu, J., Liu, S.X. 2009. Production of Degradable Biopolymer Composites by Particle-bonding [abstract]. 100th AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo. p. 133.
Technical Abstract: Conventionally, polymer composites had been manufactured by mixing the component materials in the extruder at high temperature. Agricultural biopolymers are usually mixtures of many types of compounds; when used as raw materials, however, high-temperature process causes unwanted consequences such as decomposition, gas generation, phase separation, etc. This report introduces a new methodology for the production of biodegradable polymer composites that does not require either extrusion or processing at high temperatures. Instead, micrometer-scale raw materials are coated with a protein that has strong adhesive force and compressed to form a rigid material. Since this technique does not require purification of raw materials, broad range of materials can be used as component materials. A prototype of the products from wheat protein, soy protein, milk powder, and starch showed promising mechanical properties. When the composites were manufactured from wheat proteins, the mechanical strength was comparable to that of a synthetic polymer, polypropylene. Incorporation of electrically conducting fillers such as carbon black and graphite into the biopolymer composite yielded highly conductive materials. The conductance of the final product was high enough to be used for commercial applications.