The Structure and Mechanical Relaxation of Foams Made from Wheat Gluten
Thomas O.J. Blomfeldt1, Mikael S. Hedenqvist1, and Eva Johansson2. (1) Fibre and Polymer Technology, The Royal Institute of Technology, Teknikringen 58, Stockholm, Sweden, (2) Department of Crop Science, The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden
Wheat Gluten protein is a relatively cheap by-product from e.g. biofuel (ethanol) production, a production that may probably increase in the future. Furthermore, gluten is well known to have excellent foaming properties, as observed in e.g. bread making. It has good extensibility, and with the right foaming parameters, it may be a potential insulation material and a competitor to today's oil-based insulating materials, e.g. expanded polystyrene and polyurethane; materials which contribute to green-house effects through their incineration. In addition, as the oil price will probably increase in the future, these materials will become more expensive and less attractive.
This presentation deals with the structure and properties of wheat gluten foams and addresses issues such as pore structure/foam density, solute uptake and compression strength. In addition the effects of reinforcing fillers will be discussed.