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Title: Starch/fiber/poly(lactic acid) foam and compressed foam composites

item TEIXEIRA, E - Embrapa
item DE CAMPOS, A - Embrapa
item MARCONCINI, J - Embrapa
item BONDANCIA, T - Universidade Federal De Sao Carlos
item Wood, Delilah - De
item Klamczynski, Artur
item MATTOSO, L - Embrapa
item Glenn, Gregory - Greg

Submitted to: RSC Advances
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/24/2013
Publication Date: 1/1/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Teixeira, E., De Campos, A., Marconcini, J., Bondancia, T.J., Wood, D.F., Klamczynski, A., Mattoso, L., Glenn, G.M. 2014. Starch/fiber/poly(lactic acid) foam and compressed foam composites. RSC Advances. 4(13):6616-6623. DOI: 10.1039/C3RA47395C.

Interpretive Summary: Starch-based plastics are moisture sensitive and brittle. Composites containing fiber have improved strength and are less brittle but are still moisture sensitive. Starch-based fiber composites were infiltrated with poly(lactic acid). Both foam composites and plastic composites that were infiltrated with poly(lactic acid) had improved moisture resistance and strength and were readily biodegradable. The composites may provide renewable and functional alternatives to petroleum-based plastics.

Technical Abstract: Composites of starch, fiber, and poly(lactic acid) (PLA) were made using a foam substrate formed by dehydrating starch or starch/fiber gels. PLA was infiltrated into the dry foam to provide better moisture resistance. Foam composites were compressed into plastics using force ranging from 4-76MPa. Tensile strength increased with increasing compression force applied to the foam sample. The samples became increasingly transparent with compression forces approaching 76MPa. PLA infusion into starch and starch/fiber foam composites resulted in PLA content of 20% and 33%, respectively and provided moisture resistance to the outer regions of the foam samples. The PLA-infused foam samples increased in tensile strength when compressed up to 29MPa. The PLA-infused compressed samples had greater moisture resistance and had intermediate rates of mineralization compared to the control samples.