Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version



Published in Industrial Crops and Products 33:1 (January 2011), pp. 35–41; doi: 10.1016/j.indcrop.2010.08.007 Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. Used by permission.


Soyprotein–jute fiber composites developed using water without any chemicals as the plasticizer show much better flexural and tensile properties than polypropylene–jute composites. Co-products of soybean processing such as soy oil, soyprotein concentrate and soy protein isolates are inexpensive, abundantly available and are renewable resources that have been extensively studied as potential matrix materials to develop biodegradable composites. However, previous attempts on developing soy-based composites have either chemically modified the co-products or used plasticizers such as glycerol. Chemical modifications make the composites expensive and less environmentally friendly and plasticizers decrease the properties of the composites. In this research, soyprotein composites reinforced with jute fibers have been developed using water without any chemicals as plasticizer. The effects of water on the thermal behavior of soyproteins and composite fabrication conditions on the flexural, tensile and acoustic properties of the composites have been studied. Soyprotein composites developed in this research have excellent flexural strength, tensile strength and tensile modulus, much higher than polypropylene (PP)–jute fiber composites. The soyprotein composites have better properties than the PP composites even at high relative humidity (90%).