Tensile Properties of Polypropylene Composites Reinforced with Mechanical, Thermomechanical, and Chemi-Thermomechanical Pulps from Orange Pruning

Rafel Reixach, Francesc X. Espinach, Gerard Arbat, Fernando Julián, Marc Delgado-Aguilar, Josep Puig, Pere Mutjé


This paper explores the evolution in the tensile strength of orange pruning fiber-reinforced polypropylene composites. The exploitation of these pruning’s can effectively avoid incineration, with the consequence of CO2 emissions and fire risk, while extending the value chain of the agricultural industry. This biomass was subjected to three different treatments yielding mechanical, thermomechanical, and chemi-thermomechanical pulps. It was found that 20 to 50% of these pulps, together with a coupling agent, were used as polypropylene reinforcement. The evolution in the tensile strength and morphological properties of the fibers, and the effect of treatments on these properties were analyzed. A modified rule of mixtures (mROM) was used to analyze the micromechanical properties of the interface. In addition, the mechanical properties were weighted against the fiber treatment yields. Finally, factors to compute the net contribution of the fibers to the final strength of the composite materials were proposed.


Composite materials; Tensile properties; Green composites; Pruning recovery

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