Robust, high-strength and environmentally friendly antibacterial composite films were prepared by simply blending konjac glucomannan (KGM) and silver nanowires (Ag NWs) in an aqueous system. The samples were then characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermal gravimetric analysis, mechanical property tests, Fourier transform infrared spectra (FT-IR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and antimicrobial tests. The results showed that there was a high ratio of Ag NWs uniformly distributed in the composite films, which was vital for mechanical reinforcement and stable antibacterial properties. The enhanced thermal stability and mechanical intensity increased, while the elongation at break was reduced with an increase in the amount of Ag NWs found in the composite films. When the percentage of Ag NWs in the composite films reached 5%, the tensile strength was 148.21 MPa, Young’s modulus was 13.79 GPa and the ultimate strain was 25.28%. Antibacterial tests showed that the KGM films had no antibacterial effect. After the addition of Ag NWs, the composite films had an obvious inhibitory effect on bacteria, with the uniform dispersion of Ag NWs promoting the antibacterial effect to a certain degree. These results indicated that these composite films would have a potential application in the fields of environmentally friendly packaging or medicine.
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