Composites Formulations, Processing, Structure, and Final Properties

Starch composites use different types of starch from various sources, including modified starches. Fillers are added to improve properties. These composites can be made on a small or large scale using various methods like casting, melt-mixing, and extrusion.

Different techniques can be used to study the microstructure of materials and provide information about the homogeneity and appearance of composites, as well as the dispersion and distribution of fillers within starch matrices. The most commonly used techniques are scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).

The properties of starch-based materials depend on the processing method and the characteristics of the fillers used. Several properties of the composites, including melting and thermal degradation behavior, color, UV-vis, gas barrier capacity, and mechanical strength, can be evaluated using different methods. Thermal degradation behavior is assessed by thermogravimetric measurements and is important for both research and industrial applications. Optical properties such as UV and visible light absorption and transmission are relevant for applications in food packaging. The water vapor barrier capacity of TPS films is essential for food packaging and can be improved by incorporating different fillers. Starch-based materials have poor mechanical properties, mainly due to their susceptibility to ambient humidity, but incorporating fillers can improve the strength of the composites.

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