Polymer matrix composites are thermoplastic or thermosetting polymers reinforced with organic or inorganic fillers. Reports on all-green biocomposite films based on chitosan matrix are very few as of now and the available reports have not fully explored the influence of fiber-biopolymer ratios, pre-treatment of fibers and reinforcement with nanoparticles on film characteristics of such combinations. Considering the immense potential for such all-green blends as emerging biomaterials, the current investigation focused on blending an abundantly available biopolymer with natural fiber for the fabrication of films. Chitosan fitted the requirement on account of its easy availability, low cost, excellent compatibility with hydrophilic fiber surfaces and desired inherent biocompatibility. The chosen fiber, namely sisal is hydrophilic in nature. Since, both chitosan and the chosen natural fiber were hydrophilic in nature, the resulting blends were expected exhibit complete interfacial adhesion between the two, in order to propose thermally and mechanically stable films that can be customized for suitable applications. For this purpose, chitosan an inexpensive, biodegradable and biocompatible biopolymer was chosen to be blended sisal fibers. The raw fibers were pre-treated by mercerization (5% of NaOH solution) The results of pre-treatments showed that the removal of lignin and hemicelluloses materials from the fibers effected decrease in hydrophilicity, Increase in surface smoothness, thus rendering the fibers suitable to be Blended with chitosan. Pre-treated fibers were mixed with chitosan and cast in to films. The effects of pre-treatment of fibers, percentage compositions of the blends film were evaluated by using tear test, peel test, water absorption, biodegradable test, FTIR, SEM & EDS. Based on the above results chitosan sisal films prepared in the present study can be proposed as materials suitable to be developed for tissue engineering and food packaging applications.
Synthesis and characterization study of chitosan based natural fiber: Biodegradable polymer composite
K. P. Prashanth, H. G. Hanumantharaju, G. N. Lokesh; Synthesis and characterization study of chitosan based natural fiber: Biodegradable polymer composite. AIP Conf. Proc. 11 January 2019; 2057 (1): 020022. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5085593
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