Thermal and structural analysis of natural fiber reinforced starch-based biocomposites

C. Gómez, F. G. Torres, J. Nakamatsu, O. H. Arroyo

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25 Scopus citations


This is the second part of a series of articles dealing with characterization of starch based biodegradable composites. Potato, sweet potato, and corn starch varieties were used as matrices of the biocomposites. Natural fibers including jute, sisal, and cabuya were used as discrete reinforcement. Water and glycols were used as plasticizers. Compression molded specimens were prepared and characterized by a variety of techniques. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Thermogravimetry (TGA) were used to characterize the thermal behavior of these composites. Processed specimens did not show the typical endothermic peak observed in DSC scans for native starch powder. No significant difference was observed for weight loss and decomposition due to fiber or plasticizer content among the different specimens. Attenuated Total Reflectance-Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-IR) was used to characterize the starch compounds and the effect of plasticizers and reinforcing fibers. The spectra found for most specimens were consistent with those of pure starch. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) pictures showed the morphology of the specimens for different types of starch matrices and different fiber contents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-907
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Polymeric Materials and Polymeric Biomaterials
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2006


  • Compression molding
  • Natural fiber composites
  • Starch polymers
  • Structural analysis
  • Thermal analysis


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