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Potential of using multiscale corn husk fiber as reinforcing filler in cornstarch-based biocomposites

Ibrahim, M.I.J., Sapuan, S.M., Zainudin, E.S., Zuhri, M.Y.M.
International journal of biological macromolecules 2019 v.139 pp. 596-604
Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, biocomposites, biodegradability, biodegradation, composite films, corn husks, corn starch, crystal structure, fructose, hydrogen bonding, plasticizers, soil, starch, temperature, tensile strength, thermal stability, thermoplastics, waste disposal, water content
In this study, biodegradable composite films were prepared by using thermoplastic cornstarch matrix and corn husk fiber as a reinforcing filler. The composite films were manufactured via a casting technique using different concentrations of husk fiber (0–8%), and fructose as a plasticizer at a fixed amount of 25% for starch weight. The Physical, thermal, morphological, and tensile characteristics of composite films were investigated. The findings indicated that the incorporation of husk fiber, in general, enhanced the performance of the composite films. There was a noticeable reduction in the density and moisture content of the films, and soil burial assessment showed less resistance to biodegradation. The morphological images presented a consistent structure and excellent compatibility between matrix and reinforcement, which reflected on the improved tensile strength and young modulus as well as the crystallinity index. The thermal stability of composite films has also been enhanced, as evidenced by the increased onset decomposition temperature of the reinforced films compared to neat film. Fourier transform infrared analysis revealed increasing in intermolecular hydrogen bonding following fiber loading. The composite materials prepared using corn husk residues as reinforcement responded to community demand for agricultural and polymeric waste disposal and added more value to waste management.