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Name: Windi
Status: other
Grade: 9-12
Country: Indonesia
Date: Summer 2014


Question:
I have a project to make a simple bioplastic from starch. But, I have read from a literature search that bioplastics from starch are easily ripped and not strong. What kind of natural compound can be used



Replies:
Hi Windi,

You have identified a serious disadvantage of nearly all so-called "bioplastics". With many types of plastics, it is common to add various type of "reinforcement" to improve strength. A common example of this is adding up to 30% (by weight) glass fiber (short strands up to 5mm long). Of course, adding glass fiber to a biodegradable starch-based plastic will result in it being no longer biodegradable!

But adding reinforcement of this sort will not magically turn a weak plastic into a strong one. The best you can hope for is that it will make small improvements to the stiffness and strength of the basic plastic.

So, unfortunately, there is really nothing you can add to your bioplastic that will result in a large improvement in strength.

Regards, Bob Wilson


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