Effect of cellulose nanofiber-montmorillonite hybrid filler on the melt blending of thermoplastic starch composites

Dasom Son, Junhyuk Lee, Sung Kyu Kim, Jungi Hong, Hyunwook Jung, Jin Kie Shim, Dong Ho Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated the impact of cellulose nanofibers (CNFs) on montmorillonites (MMTs) exfoliation within thermoplastic starch (TPS) nanocomposites during the melt blending process. TPS nanocomposite films were manufactured using an internal mixer with a controlled ratio of CNFs and MMTs to evaluate the effect of individual and hybrid fillers on the material interactions and characteristics of the TPS composites. The incorporation of hybrid fillers resulted in notable enhancements in torque values and rheological properties, suggesting interactions between the starch, CNFs, and MMTs. The degree of MMT intercalation, obtained via X-ray diffraction analysis, decreased with the addition of CNFs, indicating that CNFs positively impacted MMT exfoliation. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images of cryo- and tensile-fractured samples highlighted the effectiveness of CNFs in facilitating MMT exfoliation and reinforcing interactions between the MMTs and TPS matrix. These interactions enhanced the tensile strength and Young's modulus by up to 95.8 % and 278.2 %, respectively, with a 1:1 weight ratio of CNFs to MMTs. Additionally, well-dispersed MMTs within the TPS matrix caused passivation and created tortuous paths, improving the water contact angle and decreasing the water vapor sorption. These synergistic effects of the hybrid filler, achieved through a melt blending process, indicate the potential use of TPS nanocomposites as an eco-friendly packaging material.

Original languageEnglish
Article number127236
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Jan

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Cellulose nanofiber
  • Hybrid filler
  • Interfacial interaction
  • Packaging material
  • Thermoplastic starch nanocomposite

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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