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Using CO2-Based Polymer Polypropylene Carbonate to Enhance the Interactions in Poly(lactic acid)/Wood Fiber Biocomposites

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The behavior of a biodegradable CO2-based polymer polypropylene carbonate (PPC) as polymer matrix of wood fiber (WF) composites was examined and compared with that of using poly(lactic acid) (PLA) as the matrix. The PPC/WF composites displayed poor mechanical properties as compared to PLA/WF composites because PPC is an amorphous polymer with low Tg and poor thermal stability. However, when PPC was used in conjunction with PLA in WF composites, the mechanical strength and modulus of the composites could match or even exceed the level of PLA/WF composites. The strong intermolecular interactions between PPC and WF and those between PPC and PLA enhanced the bonding between compatible PPC/PLA matrix and WF fillers, resulting in improved flexural strength and modulus over a broader temperature range that reduced the impact of the low Tg effect of PPC. The crystalline structures of PLA were also modified in the PPC-PLA/WF composites, while the thermal stability of the composites was improved.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 27 May 2015

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