A completely biodegradable composite was fabricated from an herbal polymer, soy protein concentrate (SPC) resin. Soy protein was modified by adding 30 wt% of glycerol and 5 wt% of poly vinyl alcohol (PVA) to enhance its mechanical as well as thermal property. 3%, 5%, 10%, and 20% nanoclay (NC) were infused into the system. To evaluate its mechanical properties, crystallinity, thermal properties, bonding interaction, and morphological evaluation, tensile, X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) tests, and optical microscopy (OM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) evaluation were performed. Tensile tests showed that the addition of nanoclay improved the mechanical properties of the modified resin. Soy protein is hydrophilic due to the presence of amino acids that contain various polar groups such as amine, carboxyl, and hydroxyl. As a result, polar nanoclay particles that are exfoliated can be evenly dispersed in the SPC resin. From experimental results, it is clear that adding of nanoclay with SPC resin significantly increased the stiffness of the SPC resin. A combination of 5% clay, 30% glycerol, and 5% PVA with the modified SPC resulted in the maximum stress of 18 MPa and Young modulus of 958 MPa. The modified SPC showed a reduced failure strain as well. X-ray diffraction curves showed an improvement of crystallinity of the prepared resin with increasing amount of nanoclay. Interaction among soy, glycerol, PVA, and nanoclay was clearly demonstrated from the FTIR analysis. Optical microscopy (OM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) micrographs revealed rougher surface in the nanoclay infused SPC samples compared to that of the neat one. SEM evaluation revealed rougher fracture surface in the NC infused samples.

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