Chapter

Bio-nanocomposites: future high-value materials

Vikas Mittal

in Nanocomposites with Biodegradable Polymers

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199581924
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728853 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199581924.003.0001

Series: Monographs on the Physics and Chemistry of Materials

Bio-nanocomposites: future high-value materials

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Polymer nanocomposites are the materials with much improved properties than the constituent polymers. The nanoscale dispersion of the filler in the polymer matrix leads to the generation of tremendous amount of interfacial contacts between the organic and inorganic components. The polymer matrices generally used for the synthesis of polymer nanocomposites are non-biodegradable, which poses an environmental hazard. Thus, to generate more environmentally friendly materials, as well as to decrease the dependence from the fossil based resources, use of a number of biopolymers has been developed in the recent years. As the properties of such polymer are sometimes inferior to the commercial non-biodegradable polymers, thus, nanocomposites of such biopolymers have been developed to improve performance. Polymers which are finding increasing use in the composite technology to replace the non-biodegradable polymers include starch, cellulose, poly(lactic acid), poly(hydroxy alkanoates), pectin, chitosan, etc. The other polymers which though have fossil based sources but are still biodegradable incuse poly(caprolactone), poly(butylene succinate) etc. Significant improvement sin the mechanical, barrier and thermal properties have been reported in such bio-nanocomposites as compared to pure polymer. Biodegradation of the polymer after the incorporation of the clay has also been mostly observed to enhance, but on some occasions, it has also been observed to decrease, but still happening in principle. Thus, such bio-nanocomposites represent potentially high value materials of the future.

Keywords: biodegradability; nanocomposites; filler; delamination; surface modification; mechanical properties; barrier performance; thermal degradation

Chapter.  8556 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Condensed Matter Physics

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