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Chrystel Loret, William J. Frith, Peter J. Fryer
Mechanical and structural properties of maltodextrin/agarose microgels composites

Appl. Rheol. 17:3 (2007) 31412 (19 pages)

We present results from a new approach to the study of multicomponent gels, which allows independent investigation of the effect of phase volume and droplet size of the dispersed phase on the mechanical properties of the mixed gel composites. The method involves preparation of agarose microgels with different sizes, which are then embedded in maltodextrin gel matrices with different gel strengths. The effects of both phase volume and droplet size on composite properties are dependent on the phase modulus ratio. The higher the phase modulus ratio, the larger is the reinforcement effect and the effect of droplet size on mechanical properties of the maltodextrin/agarose composites. The observed behaviour was compared with literature models for the behaviour of composite materials.

Cite this publication as follows:
Loret C, Frith WJ, Fryer PJ: Mechanical and structural properties of maltodextrin/agarose microgels composites, Appl. Rheol. 17 (2007) 31412.

Chrystel Loret, William Frith, Peter Fryer
Mechanical and structural properties of maltodextrin/agarose gel composites

Appl. Rheol. 16:5 (2006) 248-257

When two biopolymers are mixed together, they will normally phase separate to give two distinct phases. If the biopolymers are gelled during this phase separation, for instance by reducing the temperature, one phase is trapped in this other one and an emulsion-like composite structure is obtained. In this study, we investigated the effect of volume fraction and droplet size of this dispersed phase on the mechanical properties of maltodextrin/ agarose gel composites, where agarose is the dispersed phase. Mechanical properties of the different composites were investigated under large deformation using a rheometer with a vane geometry. These composites were also observed by confocal microscopy, allowing conclusions to be drawn regarding the microstructural origins of the observed mechanical behaviour.

Cite this publication as follows:
Loret C, Frith WJ, Fryer PJ: Mechanical and structural properties of maltodextrin/agarose gel composites, Appl. Rheol. 16 (2006) 248.


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