Investigation of the fracture mode for hard and soft wheat endosperm using the loading-unloading bending test
Wanga, L. and Jeronimidis, G. (2008) Investigation of the fracture mode for hard and soft wheat endosperm using the loading-unloading bending test. Journal of Cereal Science, 48 (1). pp. 193-202. ISSN 0733-5210
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.jcs.2007.09.004
Investigation of the fracture mode for hard and soft wheat endosperm was aimed at gaining a better understanding of the fragmentation process. Fracture mechanical characterization was based on the three-point bending test which enables stable crack propagation to take place in small rectangular pieces of wheat endosperm. The crack length can be measured in situ by using an optical microscope with light illumination from the side of the specimen or from the back of the specimen. Two new techniques were developed and used to estimate the fracture toughness of wheat endosperm, a geometric approach and a compliance method. The geometric approach gave average fracture toughness values of 53.10 and 27.0 J m(-2) for hard and soft endosperm, respectively. Fracture toughness estimated using the compliance method gave values of 49.9 and 29.7 J m(-2) for hard and soft endosperm, respectively. Compressive properties of the endosperm in three mutually perpendicular axes revealed that the hard and soft endosperms are isotropic composites. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) observation of the fracture surfaces and the energy-time curves of loading-unloading cycles revealed that there was a plastic flow during crack propagation for both the hard and soft endosperms, and confirmed that the fracture mode is significantly related to the adhesion level between starch granules and the protein matrix.