Indexed on: 11 Jun '08Published on: 11 Jun '08Published in: Acta Biomaterialia
The aim of this work was to predict the effective elastic properties of starch-based nano-biocomposites. Experiments (materials elaboration, morphological characterization and determination of mechanical properties) were conducted on both the pristine matrix (plasticized starch) and the matrix filled with montmorillonite nanoclay. Aggregated/intercalated and exfoliated nano-biocomposites were produced and mechanically tested under uniaxial tension to understand the effect of montmorillonite morphology/dispersion on the stiffness properties of starch-based nano-biocomposites. Micromechanical models, based on the classical bounds and the Mori-Tanaka approaches, were developed taking into consideration the influence of the clay concentration, the exfoliation ratio, the relative humidity and the storage time (ageing). Predicted results are in a good agreement with our experiments and show that the micromechanical model can be used as an indirect characterization technique to quantify the exfoliation/aggregation degree in the plasticized starch/clay nano-biocomposites.