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Biocomposites of Flax Fiber and Polylactic Acid: Processing and Properties

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This work investigates the effect of the addition of flax fiber (15, 25, and 40 wt%) on the mechanical, morphological, rheological, and thermal properties of polylactic acid (PLA). In the first step, no coupling agent was used to produce fully biodegradable and biobased composites. In particular, flexural tests were performed on the composites to evaluate their mechanical properties, while density, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and rheological tests were also carried out. Scanning electron microscopy images (SEM) show good flax fiber dispersion in the PLA matrix along with good contact between both phases, leading to improved stress transfer. Based on the results obtained, the addition of 40 wt% flax fiber resulted in a 142% increase in flexural modulus. It was also found that flax fiber significantly decreased the glass transition, crystallization, and melting temperatures of PLA.
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Keywords: COMPOSITES; FLAX FIBER; POLYLACTIC ACID; PROCESSING; PROPERTIES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2014-12-01

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  • The Journal of Renewable Materials (JRM) publishes high quality peer reviewed original research on macromolecules and additives obtained from renewable/biobased resources. Utilizing a multidisciplinary approach, JRM introduces cutting-edge research on biobased monomers, polymers, additives (both organic and inorganic), their blends and composites. It showcases both fundamental aspects and new applications for renewable materials. The fundamental theories and topics pertain to chemistry of biobased monomers, macromoners and polymers, their structure-property relationship, processing using sustainable methods, characterization (spectroscopic, morphological, thermal, mechanical, and rheological), bio and environmental degradation, and life cycle analysis. Demonstration of use of renewable materials and composites in applications including adhesives, bio and environmentally degradable structures, biomedicine, construction, electrical & electronics, mechanical, mendable and self-healing systems, optics, packaging, recycling, shape-memory, and stimulus responsive systems will be presented.
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