Improvement in adhesion of cellulose fibers to the thermoplastic starch matrix by plasma treatment modification

Mahyar Fazeli, Jennifer Paola Florez, Renata Antoun Simão

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

141 Citations (Scopus)


This work deals with provision and characterization of the biopolymer-based composites achieved by incorporation of cellulose fibers as the reinforcement within the glycerol plasticized matrix formed by thermoplastic cornstarch biopolymer. The function of starch-based polymers is limited due to poor mechanical properties. However, it is improved with forming a biocomposite of thermoplastic starch (TPS) as matrix and the cellulose fibers (CF) as reinforcement. The surface of cellulose fibers is successfully modified using the air plasma treatment with the aim of improving the matrix/fiber adhesion. The modified fibers are studied using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The TPS/CF composites are prepared using high friction and hot compression procedure. Tensile test results and SEM images of the fracture surfaces show significant improvement of adhesion between treated cellulose fibers and TPS matrix. Thermogravimetric analysis shows a considerable decomposition at approximately 250–350 °C. XRD proved the significant increase in crystallinity percentage of composites compared to TPS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-216
Number of pages10
JournalComposites Part B: Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Biocomposite
  • Cellulose fiber
  • Plasma treatment
  • Starch biopolymer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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