Moisture sorption characteristics of extrusion-cooked starch protective loose-fill cushioning foams

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The aim of this work was to determine the water vapour sorption properties of thermoplastic starch filling foams processed by extrusion-cooking technique from various combinations of potato starch and two foaming agents: poly(vinyl) alcohol and Plastronfoam, in amount of 1, 2 and 3% each. Foams were processed with the single screw extruder-cooker at two different screw rotational speeds 100 and 130 r.p.m. The sorption isotherms of samples were determined and described using the Guggenheim-Anderson-de Boer model. Also, the kinetics of water vapour adsorption by foams, as a function of time, was measured and fitted with Peleg model. On the basis of the analysis the influence of the applied foaming agents, as well as the technological parameters of extrusion-cooking process in relation to water vapour adsorption by thermoplastic starch foams was demonstrated. There was no difference between the shapes of the isotherms for poly(vinyl) alcohol foams while for Plastronfoam foams a notable difference among foams extruded at 100 r.p.m. was observed in the regions of low and high humidity content. The analysis of the Guggenheim-Anderson-de Boer model parameters showed that the water molecules were less strongly bound with the foam surface when extruded at a lower screw speed.

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International Agrophysics

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