Formulation-properties versatility of wood fiber biocomposites based on polylactide and polylactide/thermoplastic starch blends

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1002/pen.23681
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TypeArticle
Journal titlePolymer Engineering and Science
ISSN1548-2634
Volume54
Issue6
Pages13251340; # of pages: 16
SubjectBiodegradation; Fibers; Mechanical properties; Polyesters; Starch; Tensile strength; Wood products; Bio-composites; Branching Agent; Mechanical performance; Poly lactide; Polymeric matrices; Semicrystallines; Starch blends; Twin screw extrusion; Composite materials; Biodegradation; Composites; Fibers; Mechanical Properties; Polyesters; Starch; Tensile Strength; Wood Products
AbstractThis article discusses the interrelation between formulation, processing, and properties of biocomposites composed of a bioplastic reinforced with wood fibers. Polylactide (PLA) and polylactide/thermoplastic starch blends (PLA/TPS) were used as polymeric matrices. Two grades of PLA, an amorphous and a semicrystalline one, were studied. TPS content in the PLA/TPS blends was set at 30, 50, and 70 wt%. Two types of wood fiber were selected, a hardwood (HW) and a softwood (SW), to investigate the effect of the fiber type on the biocomposite properties. Finally, the impact of different additives on biocomposite properties was studied with the purpose to enhance the bioplastic/wood fiber adhesion and, therefore, the final mechanical performance. The biocomposites containing 30 wt% of wood fibers were obtained by twin-screw extrusion. The properties of the biocomposites are described in terms of morphology, thermal, rheological, and mechanical properties. Furthermore, the biocomposites were tested for humidity and water absorption and biodegradability. An almost 100% increase in elastic modulus and 25% in tensile strength were observed for PLA/wood fiber biocomposite with the best compatibilization strategy used. The presence of the TPS in the biocomposites at 30 and 50 wt% maintained the tensile strength higher or at least equal as for the virgin PLA. These superior tensile results were due to the inherent affinity between the matrices and wood fibers improved by the addition of a combination of coupling and a branching agent. In addition to their outstanding mechanical performance, the biocomposites showed high biodegradation within 60 days. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 54:1325-1340, 2014. © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2013 © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2013.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC); Automotive (AUTO-AUTO)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21272157
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Record identifierfbdb790d-6609-49d2-a2c5-97c0ebddffe2
Record created2014-07-23
Record modified2016-05-09
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