High Stiffness Performance Alpha-Grass Pulp Fiber Reinforced Thermoplastic Starch-Based Fully Biodegradable Composites

Francesc X. Espinach, Fernando Julián, Manel Alcalà, Josep Tresserras, Pere Mutjé

Abstract


Alpha-grass was studied as the reinforcement in a starch-based polymer matrix. Mater-bi®-Y was chosen as a matrix due to its Young’s modulus, in line with that of polypropylene. The test specimens were injection molded and tensile tested. The obtained results were compared to glass fiber reinforced polypropylene. The reinforcing fibers increased the Young’s modulus significantly, obtaining values up to 7.2 GPa, comparable to those obtained with reinforced polypropylene. The contribution of the fibers to the final composite Young’s modulus was also studied, and it was found that was in line with other natural fibers contribution to polypropylene-based composites. Finally, it was found that the value of the efficiency factor of the module remained similar to that of natural fiber reinforced polypropylene.

Keywords


Fiber-reinforced composites; Young’s modulus; Thermoplastic starch; Biodegradable; Micromechanics modeling

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