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Dr Li Ying

TOPIC: Reinforcing capability of hierarchical structures in starch-based biocomposites

Authors: Yah Wen Ko, Ying Li, Chi Mun Cheah, Chuem Kum Lee, Mohd Pauzi Hussen, Leonard Loh from Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore

Presented by: Dr Li Ying, Senior Lecturer, Biomedical Engineering and Materials Group, School of Engineering, Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore


The development of green composites to replace non-degradable oil-derived synthetic materials is gathering widespread interests due to deepening concerns of environmental issues and fossil fuel depletion. Starch-based materials are one of the most viable alternatives due to their low cost, high abundancy and biodegradability into non-toxic by-products. However, drawbacks such as weak mechanical properties and high water sensitivity hinder their extensive use in commercial applications. Various efforts are focused on incorporating natural fibers into starch-based materials to produce biocomposites with improved performance. Reinforcement in the biocomposites is highly dependent on the nature of the fibers and loadings. In this study, the reinforcing effect of hybrid, hierarchical structured fibers on the mechanical performance of starch-based composite was elucidated. By creating hierarchical structures comprising of micro- and nano-sized fibers in starch composite, it was possible to strengthen the material through mechanical interlocking at the matrix-fiber interface. The current work will provide better insights into tailoring mechanical properties by generating hierarchical assembly within the biocomposite.

Keywords: biocomposite, natural fillers, starch

Presenter’s resume

Dr Li Ying is a senior lecturer at the Biomedical Engineering and Materials Group, School of Engineering, Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore. Dr Ying has over 20 years of research and engineering experience in composite materials synthesis and application. She has published more than 60 technical papers on nanomaterials and composite materials. She has also completed many reports on research and industrial projects. Her current research focuses on development of composite materials for environmental friendly and biodegradable applications.