We investigated the efficacy of several nanoclays (halloysite, sepiolite and laponite) as nanofillers for Mater-Bi, which is a commercial bioplastic extensively used within food packaging applications. The preparation of Mater-Bi/nanoclay nanocomposite films was easily achieved by means of the solvent casting method from dichloroethane. The prepared bio-nanocomposites were characterized by dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA) in order to explore the effect of the addition of the nanoclays on the mechanical behavior of the Mater-Bi-based films. Tensile tests found that filling Mater-Bi with halloysite induced the most significant improvement of the mechanical performances under traction force, while DMA measurements under the oscillatory regime showed that the polymer glass transition was not affected by the addition of the nanoclay. The tensile properties of the Mater-Bi/halloysite nanotube (HNT) films were competitive compared to those of traditional petroleum plastics in terms of the elastic modulus and stress at the breaking point. Both the mechanical response to the temperature and the tensile properties make the bio-nanocomposites appropriate for food packaging and smart coating purposes. Here, we report a preliminary study of the development of sustainable hybrid materials that could be employed in numerous industrial and technological applications within materials science and pharmaceutics.
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