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Research article2011Peer reviewedOpen access

Injection-molded nanocomposites and materials based on wheat gluten

Cho, Sung-Woo; Gällstedt, Mikael; Johansson, Eva; Hedenqvist, Mikael


This is, to our knowledge, the first study of the injection molding of materials where wheat gluten (WG) is the main component. In addition to a plasticizer (glycerol), 5 wt.% natural montmorillonite clay was added. X-ray indicated intercalated clay and transmission electron microscopy indicated locally good clay platelet dispersion. Prior to feeding into the injection molder, the material was first compression molded into plates and pelletized. The filling of the circular mold via the central gate was characterized by a divergent flow yielding, in general, a stronger and stiffer material in the circumferential direction. It was observed that 20-30 wt.% glycerol yielded the best combination of processability and mechanical properties. The clay yielded improved processability, plate homogeneity and tensile stiffness. IR spectroscopy and protein solubility indicated that the injection molding process yielded a highly aggregated structure. The overall conclusion was that injection molding is a very promising method for producing WG objects. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Injection molding; Nanocomposites; Wheat gluten; Montmorillonite; Mechanical properties

Published in

International Journal of Biological Macromolecules
2011, Volume: 48, number: 1, pages: 146-152

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Other Materials Engineering

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