Effect of degumming time on silkworm silk fibre for biodegradable polymer composites

Ho, Mei-po and Wang, Hao and Lau, Kin-tak (2012) Effect of degumming time on silkworm silk fibre for biodegradable polymer composites. Applied Surface Science, 258 (8). pp. 3948-3955. ISSN 0169-4332


Recently, many studies have been conducted on exploitation of natural materials for modern product development and bioengineering applications. Apart from plant-based materials (such as sisal, hemp, jute, bamboo and palm fibre), animal-based fibre is a kind of sustainable natural materials for making novel composites. Silkworm silk fibre extracted from cocoon has been well recognized as a promising material for bio-medical engineering applications because of its superior mechanical and bioresorbable properties. However, when producing silk fibre reinforced biodegradable/bioresorbable polymer composites, hydrophilic sericin has been found to cause poor interfacial bonding with most polymers and thus, it results in affecting the resultant properties of the composites. Besides, sericin layers on fibroin surface may also cause an adverse effect towards biocompatibility and hypersensitivity to silk for implant applications. Therefore, a proper pre-treatment should be done for sericin removal. Degumming is a surface modification process which allows a wide control of the silk fibre's properties, making the silk fibre possible to be used for the development and production of novel bio-composites with unique/specific mechanical and biodegradable properties. In this paper, a cleaner and environmentally friendly surface modification technique for tussah silk in polymer based composites is proposed. The effectiveness of different degumming parameters including degumming time and temperature on tussah silk is discussed through the analyses of their mechanical and morphological properties. Based on results obtained, it was found that the mechanical properties of tussah silk are affected by the degumming time due to the change of the fibre structure and fibroin alignment.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © 2011 Published by Elsevier B.V. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2013 05:27
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2014 02:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: silk; biodegradation; hydrophilicity; surface treatment; biocompatibility; polymer composites
Fields of Research : 03 Chemical Sciences > 0303 Macromolecular and Materials Chemistry > 030305 Polymerisation Mechanisms
09 Engineering > 0912 Materials Engineering > 091202 Composite and Hybrid Materials
03 Chemical Sciences > 0305 Organic Chemistry > 030502 Natural Products Chemistry
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 87 Construction > 8703 Construction Materials Performance and Processes > 870399 Construction Materials Performance and Processes not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2011.12.068
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/22813

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