'New tailor-made biopolymers produced from lignocellulosic sugars waste for highly demanding fire-resistant applications'

Silane-treated lignocellulosic fibers as reinforcement material in polylactic acid biocomposites

The aim of this research was to study the mechanical and thermal properties of composites based on polylactic acid (PLA) and two types of reinforcements (spent kraft fibers and sisal fibers, with or without modification by silanes). Two different silane coupling agents (3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane and 3-(trimethoxysily)propyl methacrylate) were selected based on previous experiments. Silanization of fibers was measured by ash content, atomic absorption spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. PLA-based composites were manufactured by injection molding, and their thermal and mechanical properties were measured by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and by tensile and impact tests, respectively. Composites containing kraft and sisal fibers showed remarkable impact strengths (14.45?J/m and 24.61?J/m, respectively), which were 1.4 and 2.4 times higher than the results achieved with neat PLA probes, respectively. Microscopic analysis revealed a good distribution of reinforcements in the PLA matrix.

» Author: Daniel González, Valentín Santos, and Juan Carlos Parajó

» Reference: Journal of Thermoplastic Composite Materials December 2012 25: 1005-1022, first published on September 7, 2011 doi:10.1177/0892705711417029

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration