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Journal of Materials
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 736271, 8 pages
Research Article

Preparation and Characterization of K-Carrageenan/Nanosilica Biocomposite Film

Department of Polymer and Surface Engineering, Institute of Chemical Technology, Matunga (E), Mumbai, Maharashtra 400 019, India

Received 8 November 2013; Revised 12 January 2014; Accepted 20 January 2014; Published 3 March 2014

Academic Editor: Peter Chang

Copyright © 2014 Lokesh R. Rane et al. 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.


The purpose of this study is to improve the performance properties of K-carrageenan (K-CRG) by utilizing nanosilica (NSI) as the reinforcing agent. The composite films were prepared by solution casting method. NSI was added up to 1.5% in the K-CRG matrix. The prepared films were characterized for mechanical (tensile strength, tensile modulus, and elongation at break), thermal (differential scanning calorimetry, thermogravimetric analysis), barrier (water vapour transmission rate), morphological (scanning electron microscopy), contact angle, and crystallinity properties. Tensile strength, tensile modulus, and crystallinity were found to have increased by 13.8, 15, and 48% whereas water vapour transmission rate was found to have decreased by 48% for 0.5% NSI loaded K-CRG composite films. NSI was found to have formed aggregates for concentrations above 0.5% as confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. Melting temperature, enthalpy of melting, and degradation temperature of K-CRG increased with increase in concentration of NSI in K-CRG. Contact angle also increased with increase in concentration of NSI in K-CRG, indicating the decrease in hydrophilicity of the films improving its water resistance properties. This knowledge of the composite film could make beneficial contributions to the food and pharmaceutical packaging applications.