Soy protein isolate (SPI)-based nanocomposite films with three different types of nanoclays, such as Cloisite $Na^+$, Cloisite 20A, and Cloisite 30B, were prepared using a solution casting method, and their optical, tensile, and water vapor barrier properties were determined to investigate the effect of nano-clay type on film properties. Among the tested nanoclays, Cloisite $Na^+$, a hydrophilic montmorillonite (MMT), exhibited the highest transparency with least opaqueness, the highest tensile strength, and the highest water vapor barrier properties, indicating Cloisite $Na^+$ is the most compatible with SPI polymer matrix to form nanocomposite films. The film properties of SPI/Cloisite $Na^+$ nanocomposite films were strongly dependent on the concentration of the clay. Film properties such as optical, tensile, and water vapor barrier properties improved significantly (p<0.05) as the concentration of clay increased. However, the effectiveness of addition of the clay reduced above a certain level (i.e., 5wt%), indicating that there is an optimum amount of clay addition to exploit the full advantage of nanocmposite films.
Supported by : Mokpo National University