Chemical and Mechanical Evaluation of Bio-composites Based on Thermoplastic Starch and Wood Particles Prepared by Thermal Compression

María Guadalupe Lomelí-Ramírez, Arturo Javier Barrios-Guzmán, Salvador García-Enriquez, José de Jesús Rivera-Prado, Ricardo Manríquez-González


The present work inspects the preparation of bio-composites of cassava starch with particles of eucalyptus wood through the application of a novel method of thermal compression. Bio-composites with different amounts of wood particles (5 to 30%), with particle sizes of 4 and 8 mm, were obtained. Chemical and mechanical evaluation of these samples was carried out using optical microscopy, infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and the moisture absorption effect. The effect of the amount and size of the wood particles was tested by comparison with a thermoplastic matrix sample. Results from these evaluations demonstrated that the thermo-compression method produced bio-composites with a distribution of particles in the matrix that contributed to an increase in their tensile strength. This mechanical property is also enhanced by interfacial adhesion between the matrix and particles, as confirmed by SEM. Furthermore, the maximum amount of particles in the bio-composites (30%) showed the maximum resistance to moisture absorption. Temperature and time parameters contributed to the formation of diffraction patterns VH and EH as a consequence of the structural disruption of native starch. Finally, FTIR showed the chemical compatibility between the starch, glycerol, and wood particles.


Bio-composites; Thermoplastic starch; Wood particles; Thermal compression

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