Abstract: The performance as reinforcement of a fibrillar protein such as feather keratin fiber over a biopolymeric matrix composed of polysaccharides was evaluated in this paper. Three different kinds of keratin reinforcement were used: short and long biofibers and rachis particles. These were added separately at 5, 10, 15 and 20 wt% to the chitosan-starch matrix and the composites were processed by a casting/solvent evaporation method. The morphological characteristics, mechanical and thermal properties of the matrix and composites were studied by scanning electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry and dynamic mechanical analysis. The thermal results indicated that the addition of keratin enhanced the thermal stability of the composites compared to pure matrix. This was corroborated with dynamic mechanical analysis as the results revealed that the storage modulus of the composites increased with respect to the pure matrix. The morphology, evaluated by scanning electron microscopy, indicated a uniform dispersion of keratin in the chitosan-starch matrix as a result of good compatibility between these biopolymers, also corroborated by FTIR. These results demonstrate that chicken feathers can be useful to obtain novel keratin reinforcements and develop new green composites providing better properties, than the original biopolymer matrix.
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Flores-Hernández, C.G.; Colín-Cruz, A.; Velasco-Santos, C.; Castaño, V.M.; Rivera-Armenta, J.L.; Almendarez-Camarillo, A.; García-Casillas, P.E.; Martínez-Hernández, A.L. All Green Composites from Fully Renewable Biopolymers: Chitosan-Starch Reinforced with Keratin from Feathers. Polymers 2014, 6, 686-705.
Flores-Hernández CG, Colín-Cruz A, Velasco-Santos C, Castaño VM, Rivera-Armenta JL, Almendarez-Camarillo A, García-Casillas PE, Martínez-Hernández AL. All Green Composites from Fully Renewable Biopolymers: Chitosan-Starch Reinforced with Keratin from Feathers. Polymers. 2014; 6(3):686-705.
Flores-Hernández, Cynthia G.; Colín-Cruz, Arturo; Velasco-Santos, Carlos; Castaño, Víctor M.; Rivera-Armenta, José L.; Almendarez-Camarillo, Armando; García-Casillas, Perla E.; Martínez-Hernández, Ana L. 2014. "All Green Composites from Fully Renewable Biopolymers: Chitosan-Starch Reinforced with Keratin from Feathers." Polymers 6, no. 3: 686-705.