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ISRN Polymer Science
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 463298, 7 pages
Research Article

Tuning the Mechanical Properties of Tapioca Starch by Plasticizers, Inorganic Fillers and Agrowaste-Based Fillers

Department of Fibre and Polymer Technology, School of Chemical Science and Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Received 21 March 2012; Accepted 10 April 2012

Academic Editors: C. De Rosa, B. Hazer, J. Puiggali, and C. T. Ratnam

Copyright © 2012 Edwin Azwar and Minna Hakkarainen. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mechanical properties of tapioca starch-based films were tuned by different additives and additive combinations. The additives included plasticizers (glycerol, sorbitol, and citric acid), inorganic fillers (halloysite and kaolin), and agrowaste-based fillers (milled wood flour and rice bran). In addition, new biobased additives were prepared from wood flour and rice bran through liquefaction reaction. Through different additive combinations, starch-based materials with significant differences in tensile properties were designed. Addition of halloysite nanoclay resulted in materials with improved tensile strength at break and rather low strain at break. The effect of kaolin on tensile strength was highly dependent on the used plasticizer. However, in most combinations the addition of kaolin resulted in materials with intermediate tensile strength and strain at break values. The addition of milled wood flour and rice bran improved the tensile strength, while the addition of liquefied fillers especially liquefied rice bran increased the strain at break indicating that liquefied rice bran could have potential as a plasticizer for starch blends.