Verbeek, C. J. R. & Klunker, E. (2013). Thermoplastic protein nano-composites using bloodmeal and bentonite. Journal of Polymers and the Environment, published online 12 July 2013.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/7891
Bloodmeal is a low value meat industry product and can be converted into a thermoplastic material. These novel thermoplastics often have inferior mechanical properties and require some degree of reinforcement. Reinforcement using octadecylamine (OAmine) modified bentonite have shown an increase in tensile strength from 7.69 to 9.26 MPa by using 2 parts clay per hundred parts bloodmeal. Unmodified clay did not lead to the same increase in strength. High shear during extrusion was not sufficient to prevent agglomeration at higher clay content leading to modified clay composites showing reduced tensile strength. Particle size of unmodified clay composites was small enough to lead to dispersion reinforcement, whereas modified clay composites showed even greater agglomeration, leading to a decrease in strength. It was concluded that the physical nature of the thermoplastic protein requires careful consideration as to the level of clay modification required.