Submitted to: International Conference on Composites Engineering Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 11, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: In its native form, starch is isolated as semi-crystalline granules, whose size and shape depend on the plant source. Corn starch, the major industrial starch used in the U.S., has an average granule diameter of approximately 10 microns. Starch granules are too large to provide reinforcement and, as such, are used as fillers. Most synthetic polymers are considerably more hydrophobic than starch, leading to a large interfacial tension and poor interphase adhesion. As a result, starch contents are generally 25% by weight or less before mechanical property loss becomes unacceptable. Consequently, several approaches have been taken to modify the surface properties of starch granules in order to improve granule-matrix adhesion and mechanical properties. This presentation will discuss USDA research in the area of granular starch-filled composite materials.