Influence of Al2O3 particle size on properties of thermoplastic starch–TiO2–Al2O3 composites

  • Narong Chueangchayaphan
  • Kang Ai Ting
  • Mahani Yusoff
  • Wannarat ChueangchayaphanEmail author
Original Paper


Thermoplastic starch (TPS), an inexpensive, renewable, widely available and biodegradable biopolymer, has been promoted as a promising alternative to synthetic polymers based on fossil resources. However, it exhibits weak mechanical properties and high moisture uptake. Reinforcing fillers have been used to improve the properties of thermoplastic starch. This work studies the effects of Al2O3 particle size on dielectric, thermal, physical, mechanical and morphological properties of thermoplastic starch–TiO2–Al2O3 composites at the fixed TPS:TiO2:Al2O3 weight ratio 97:2:1. The Al2O3 particle sizes tested were 0.05 μm, 1 μm and 5 μm. Dielectric, thermal, mechanical and morphological properties were determined. With increasing Al2O3 particle size, slight increases were observed in contact angle, hardness and thermal stability, while dielectric constant, dissipation factor and glass transition temperature decreased. However, the Al2O3 particle size did not significantly affect tensile properties. Scanning electron microscopy was used to investigate the morphology in the composites. In summary, the incorporation of TiO2 and Al2O3 in thermoplastic starch could extend its potential in flexible films, compost bags and packaging applications.


Thermoplastic starch Particle size Titanium dioxide Aluminum oxide Cassava starch 



This research was financially supported by the Prince of Songkla University, Surat Thani campus, in 2015. The authors would like to express their gratitude to the Faculty of Earth Science, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, and the Faculty of Science and Industrial Technology, Prince of Songkla University, Surat Thani campus. The assistance with manuscript preparation by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Seppo Karrila is also sincerely appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Science and Industrial TechnologyPrince of Songkla UniversitySurat ThaniThailand
  2. 2.Faculty of Bioengineering and TechnologyUniversiti Malaysia KelantanJeliMalaysia

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