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Processing And Mechanical Properties Of Natural Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastic Starch Biocomposites

F. G. Torres, O. H. Arroyo, C. Gomez

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Natural fiber reinforced starch polymers are processed by compression molding. Potato, sweet potato, and corn starch are used as matrices. Three types of natural fibers, namely sisal, jute, and cabuya, are used in concentrations varying from 2.5 to 12.5% w/w in the composites. Different plasticizers are used for the starch polymers, such as water and glycerol. Mechanical properties are assessed by tensile and impact tests. In both cases, improved mechanical properties are obtained at increasing fiber contents. Tensile strength appears to be markedly improved with the addition of 10% by weight of sisal fibers, while the best results for impact strength are obtained for cabuya fibers.