Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Yucheng Liu


Bio-composite, Biopolymer, Matrix, SEM


Most of the current and active food packaging resources and methods are nonbiodegradable and nonrenewable therefore harmful to the environment. Due to this, alternate sources of food packaging materials are in high demand. In this study, a bio-composite film has been developed, with Corn kernel powder as fiber reinforcement which is mixed with gelatin, and lignin two biopolymers as the matrix. The effect of Corn Kernel (CK) reinforcement on the Gelatin/Lignin (G/L) matrix on mechanical and barrier properties has been studied. CK has shown great potential as reinforcement to natural polymer, gelatin, and lignin (G/L) for food packaging applications as well as equating its unique attributes to biodegradability. Gelatin has significant limitations on barrier properties, hence choosing to crosslink polymer Lignin to minimize limitations. The higher particle size of CK affected the composite, hence it was further ground to a smaller size (Image analysis via. Digital Microscope). Four different mixtures at CK w% were used to prepare the composite film, CK (10%) – G/L (5%, 10%, 15%, 20%). Two G/L (5%, 10%) films without fiber were also produced to study performance comparison. The prepared composite films were subjected to morphological analysis, mechanical strength analysis, film thickness analysis, water vapor permeability analysis, and water uptake analysis. It has been observed that CK is well dispersed in the G/L matrix (Image analysis via. SEM). Mechanical properties of the CK composite film evaluated that with an increase of w% of CK the strength of the composite increases. A film with more matrix showed less absorption of water as well as less water vapor permeability. The WVP test and WU test revealed that film CK (10%) – G/L (20%) possesses the best barrier properties.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Corn products.
Food -- Packaging.
Composite materials.
Biodegradable plastics.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright